YouTube recently recommended a video that caught my attention. It was from a conservative YouTuber named Hunter Avallone and its title read, "The Problem with Pride Month." I actually like a lot of YouTubers who are in the realm of anti-PC and anti-SJW content. I think extremist behavior, especially those that try to censor other's free speech, should be called out. This type of content comes from people on all ends of the political aisle. However, Avallone's conservatism verges a bit too extreme for my taste. I decided to watch this thirteen minute long rant and walked away with some strong feelings.
There are some aspects of Avallone's video that I agree with. I agree that many are ignoring LGBTQ people outside of America that face oppression. Gay men are killed and brutally beaten in places that enforce Sharia Law. However, Avallone seems to miss the point of why Pride originated in the first place. In the video, he claims that one of the problems with Pride is that LGBTQ people act like their sexuality defines them.
Back in the sixties, being gay was considered a mental illness in America and many were arrested. Police frequently raided gay clubs (like Stonewall) and took gay men to jail in busloads. The Stonewall Riots in June of 1969 were the kickoff of the gay rights movement. This is why June is considered Pride month. When people began saying they were proud to be gay, they were fighting back against a system that tried to paint their sexuality as a bad thing. It was the gay community's way of saying they weren't going to let anyone make them feel ashamed of being gay. When people said they were proud to be gay, that really meant they weren't ashamed of being gay. As for Pride in 2019, the celebratory nature of the parades are meant to celebrate the progress we've made since then. It's not as simple as celebrating one's sexuality. It's about more than that.
Avallone also claims there is a "gay agenda." He even goes so far as to say it's harming children by exposing them to sex. First of all, being gay isn't a choice and it's not something one can be influenced by. Either you are or you're not. Second of all, if there is an agenda, it's to be accepted, represented, and have visibility. I personally don't see anything wrong with that. That isn't alienating or harming anyone, not even children. This idea that kids are now being routinely exposed to explicitly sexual things is absurd. If a drag queen reads kids a book at a public library, I fail to see the harm in that. It's a man dressed in drag. So what? How is that sexual? If a child wants to dress in drag and perform in drag shows, why does that have to be sexual? Kids play dress up all the time. I can understand having an issue with children performing in gay bars meant for adults, but why should we stop them from doing drag altogether?
I also take issue with Hunter's perception of flamboyant gay men who turn up at Pride parades. His take is one that many agree with on both sides. He claims that gay men who walk around cities "half-naked" and "throw their sexuality in people's faces" will hurt the gay community in the long run. He claims that people who already have a problem with gay people will feel their stance is justified. Many in the LGBTQ community have said that this could make further progress even more difficult. I have to disagree. First of all, there are plenty of heterosexual people who are just as overtly sexual in public, if not more so. This kind of behavior isn't exclusive to gay people. Second of all, gay men shouldn't change their personality just because bigots are opposed to it. If bigots use that to justify a stereotype about all gay people, they're the ones with the problem. The bigots are the ones who should change, as far as I'm concerned.
Avallone has made several videos about the LGBTQ community over the years. This is certainly not the first one. I do find his constant focus and interest on the subject interesting. From what I've gathered, most straight men within this anti-PC, anti-SJW section of YouTube rarely mention LGBTQ issues or Pride month. This is mainly because it doesn't affect them. If Avallone is so secure in his sexuality, why does this feature so prominently on his mind? I'm not saying Avallone is gay or bisexual, but I do think there is a deeper explanation for why this issue is so important to him.
At the end of the day, I respect Avallone's opinions, even if I disagree with them. He seems to be well-intended. He says several times in the video that he supports equal rights and treatment for the LGBTQ community. However, when he starts talking about a "gay agenda," his ignorance is abundantly clear. I don't think he's a bad guy. I think he's just ignorant. And hopefully, education can help rid people of their ignorance, one by one.