Pride celebrations are popping off in a number of cities this weekend, but Houston Pride’s decision to almost ban the distribution of condoms has raised a lot of eyebrows. Kenyon Farrow writes over at RH Reality Check about what postures like this may mean in the future:
But I have a lot of reasons to have caution this weekend about what a new “family-friendly” and “marriage-minded” LGBT community will mean. How will Pride weekend change when married gays with children decide that the femmes in string bikinis in high-heels, or the leather daddies in chaps are just too much for the kids to see?
When I was in my 20s and went to Pride parades more frequently, it was the only place that I could get condoms for free. Because they last for several years, one pride parade would last me all year–with plenty to give out to friends! I wonder if Pride Houston is too concerned with the appearance of propriety and living in era of “the new normal” than doing what’s responsible. We know Prides are sexually charged spaces–people are there to mix and mingle! And if you lose the opportunity to get people the access to safe sex materials, you might as well close up shop. There was a time when it didn’t matter if HIV was an official part of your mission statement–it was everybody’s responsibility to do what they could, and Pride was certainly a primary venue for reaching people who might not be reached any other time of the year. By comparison, Houston Splash, the Black LGBT Pride celebration that happened in early May, prominently features HIV testing and prevention messages on its website.