Do these images disturb you as much as they do me? These were taken at the Gay Pride Parade in Stockholm, Sweden. I did not take these pictures, a friend of mine who lives in Sweden sent them to me. The one up top was from a few years ago and the one with the woman in Black face was taken from this years parade. There are so many things wrong with these two pictures I almost don’t even know where to start.
I am not gay but from what I understand, the gay community is constantly fighting to be treated equally and respectfully around the world. I thought the gay community was an inclusive one, one that didn’t discriminate against anyone because gay men and women do not appreciate being singled out and picked on for their sexuality. If that is true, how can what the people in these pictures are wearing possibly be considered appropriate, respectful, and non-discriminatory?
One of the things I truly appreciate about traveling is that I am able to be exposed to things that are totally different than what I am accustomed to. I have eaten things that at first I thought strange but now I love. I have experienced customs and cultural differences that while I may not agree with them, I can appreciate the differences and respect them. There is nothing respectful about the above pictures. They are blatantly racist, overtly sexual and down right nauseating.
As a Black American woman, it takes a lot to offend me. I have pretty tough skin and the reason why is because I have traveled so much I have learned not to let the little things bother me and to take life as it comes. I enjoy my life and try my best not to sweat the small stuff. But these pictures have struck a chord in me that is ringing so loudly I can barely hear. I am absolutely and completely offended by the unmitigated gaul of the organizers of this parade and the people depicted in these pictures. How they could possibly think that dressing up as a parody of a Black couple with their sexual organs on display or dressing up in Black face was appropriate is beyond my comprehension.
I am not going into the history of Black face and why it’s offensive. If you do not understand, please do some research and find out why. I get that Sweden doesn’t have the complicated history that America does with slavery and Black/White relations. I also understand that many countries around the world don’t quite understand what may be offensive or not to Black or African people because they are not accustomed to being in the presence of people of color. But you will never convince me that the people in these photos could be that daft that in any realm of reality they would think that their behavior is appropriate and not offensive.
If this was a gay pride parade, what do either of these pictures have to do with gay pride? How are these pictures representing the pride that gay people have for their lifestyle? The picture up top is of a heterosexual couple, how is that representing gay pride? How is this picture showing pride at all for the Black/African people being represented?
No one should be discriminated against. No one should be made fun of for what they are or for how they look. It is 2013 and it is still a fight to get people to understand that being disrespectful is never funny. That making fun of a whole race of people in the worst way possible is ugly, disgusting, and just plain wrong.