Quick columnists question Million Gay March

Posted on 18 Jun 2009 at 1:53pm

Gay Dallas Morning News staffers Brandon Formby and Ian McCann, who write an LGBT column called “Orientations” for DMN’s Quick, typically don’t invite controversy with their weekly musings. But today was different.

Formby and McCann are undoubtedly suffering the full wrath of Million Gay March organizers after they publicly questioned the location and wisdom of the June 28 event. Below is the complete text of what they wrote, which you can also read on the Quick Web site by going here.

Pride marches shouldn’t preach to the choir

IAN McCANN & BRANDON FORMBY — ORIENTATIONS

Dallas, get ready for a double helping of pride.
Joining the annual Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade scheduled for Sept. 20 is the March for Equality on June 28.
The new event is billed as a commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Marches and rallies are planned all over the country, and Texas’ will be in Dallas.
But tell us if this sounds familiar: A march (um, parade?) on a Sunday afternoon down Cedar Springs Road from Knight Street to Lee Park, followed by a two-hour rally in the park.
We love parades (or marches) as much as any other person. But is there such a thing as too much gay pride? Wait … this one isn’t about pride. It’s about equality. Because there’s never any mention of equal rights at the September parade.
We just have to wonder whether the best way to have our voices heard is to disrupt traffic around the gayborhood. If we want to reach out to the straight community, shouldn’t this go down Greenville Avenue? Or up Preston Road? Through downtown? In Frisco?
It’s great that activists are getting riled up. But we’re members of the oh-so-gay choir that they’re preaching to. To make the world change in your favor, you’d think you would want to speak to people who aren’t already on your side.
Still, we’ll reserve judgment on the effectiveness of these parades. Err … marches. But the minute we see nearly naked guys walking down Cedar Springs at the March for Equality is the minute that we’re going to wonder whether this is really about “empowering the community” or if it’s just another excuse to drink a beer or four in the park.

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