By Jonathon Van Maren
Every June, major cities across the West engage in an orgy of flag-waving LGBT festivals and parades in which the proclivities of exploding sexual minorities are put on public display. These parades, which have long evolved from political marches to celebratory marches where politicians come to bend the knee to the “pride” flag, feature public displays of every imaginable sexual behavior, from BDSM floats to gay men walking their partners like dogs. Public nudity is the norm.
It will come as no surprise that I don’t think anyone should attend these sorts of events (the same way I disapprove of strip clubs and watching porn) — but it is especially true that children should be kept away from these displays of sexual immorality. I don’t think that particular point should be controversial. Unfortunately, it has become a “homophobic” thing to say. Last year, the Washington Post ran a column titled: ““Yes, kink belongs at Pride. And I want my kids to see it.”
Canada’s state broadcaster has also suggested in the past that a “pride” parade is good fun for the whole family, noting that parents should be open-minded and take their kids despite the fact that “Your kids will probably see boobs and penises. There will bodies of all shapes, sizes and in all states of undress.”
Over at Fatherly, Heather Tirado Gilligan is now making the same case just in time for “pride” month in an advice column titled “Should You Take Your Kids to a Pride Parade?” These parades, Gilligan noted, are “filled with sights that may be new to kids, like public nudity and kink.” So should parents take their children when they will be exposed to adult genitalia and “kink” — which means sexual fetish behavior acted out on the street? Gilligan’s answer is an unequivocal yes.
Parents should use “pride” parade as an opportunity, says Gilligan. They should introduce their children to the history of the LGBT movement, buy them some LGBT children’s books, and ensure that, if you are “cisgender,” your children know that they need to be “respectful” of queer people. She quotes a helpful expert who assures parents that everything is fine:
Jenifer McGuire, Ph.D., an associate professor of family social science at the University of Minnesota, has been to Pride celebrations across the world with her family, from Tucson to Amsterdam. McGuire, a lesbian parent, always preps her kids for possible adult content beforehand. After a few events, the kids knew to expect nudity and other surprises. “They just had to learn to laugh and enjoy things. Like there were these Beanie Babies with giant penises on them,” McGuire says. “For a fourth- and fifth-grade kid, that’s super funny.”