Not being a mainstream sort of person, i've generally avoided the Gay Pride events in the various cities i've live in. From Minneapolis to Boston to Portland, the corporate advertising and crass commercialism have always turned me off. So i was psyched to hear that Queer Revolution was planning to crash the Portland march again this year. Even better was that they'd be pairing up with the Dyke March.
i biked downtown along the waterfront on my way to find the radicals, and passed the Gay Pride set-up. The first thing i saw was a huge sign for a financial firm, then for Prudential, Bud Light, and Verizon. It was gross to see how the anniversary of a gay-led riot against police in 1969, the year of my birth, has turned into yet another opportunity to define people as consumers and sell them crap they don't need.
The thirty-six years since Stonewall has been marked by a process of buying off GLBT people -- dangling a few carrots out there to keep them from getting too uppity. Having car ads or sitcoms focused at your demographic, no matter how oppressed you were before, is not liberation: it's opportunism, and it digusts me.
So it was quite refreshing to march with the pink and black flags, chanting against assimilation, with a group of like-minded people. It was by far the most enjoyable and gratifying Gay Pride experience i've ever had. i thank the organizers for their work and look forward to more Queer Revolution organizing and events throughout the rest of the year.