This is a little 'gloat' moment, when we can sit back in the Delhi Pride Committee and give ourselves a little pat in the back that there is something that we have done right over the years. Namely we have told NO to sponsors (corporates, NGOs, gay businesses, self serving busybodies, and others). The fact that we have a OPEN system where everybody can participate (or not, their choice), can take on responsibilities, and can delegate duties collectively is one of the best things about this pride.
Delhi Pride 2011. Photo: Sylvia Tan
Delhi Pride 2011. Photo: Sylvia Tan
Over the years, there have been increasing pressure to change this as we seem to have a waiting list of sponsors who'd love to come in with their money and banners to show their solidarity and partake of the pink rupee pie. In our wisdom we have resisted so far, and what is happening at the San Francisco Pride (Yes, the mother pride of them all), gives us good reason to believe that we are on the right track. Small is beautiful for sure in this case. If by lack of sponsors Delhi Pride remains a smallish affair with intimate participation, so be it.
Last year the organisers of the SF Pride had declared that Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning would be honoured in the pride with a special float and declared her Grand Marshall of Pride. The corporate monies that bankroll pride, kicked back furiously, lest the federal administration of the democrats turn fasci on them and cut off their balls. Within days the decision was reversed and to make up for a bad choice, Manning was crowned National Traitor no.1.
Bradley Manning Support Committee Contingent at SF Pride 2013. The
Support Committee has renamed itself the Private Manning Support Committee.
The gay community of SF observed and did not like this. This weekend there were elections for seven vacancies on the Board. A pro-Chelsea Manning slate opposing the corporatisation of Pride ran, and won majorities for six out of the seven seats.
Then, in a raucous 9-hour meeting, the existing Board, no doubt egged on by their alarmed corporate backers, decided that actually nobody was elected, because they unilaterally reinterpreted their own election bylaws in a completely insane way. Apparently they wanted "No" votes against candidates to count twice, saying in effect that every 'No' vote also cancels out a 'Yes' vote. I am sure the time will come soon when the community will ask the logical sequel to that decision, namely why every "Yes" vote should not similarly cancel a "No" vote?
Thus democracy was queered twice within the year in the land of the free. I have a feeling that this victory following a constitutional coup, is temporary, for the spirit of the LGBT community that is the real mover of pride will not take a slap to their faces by the big monies, lying down.
Things will likely get messy before they get well. But after that they will most probably start thinking in terms of what we have been saying back here in our 3rd world corner for years. That the community matters more than the sponsors who supposedly bankroll community events. This is a good thing for us to learn from and not go rogue for the money. To keep Pride open and free for all. To dare the big monies to come in as non entities, if they are true about their conviction towards LGBT support.
Read the Bay Area Reporter report that summarises the drama in San Francisco here.
(Thanks to Scott Long's [former Executive Director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch] Facebook post to make me aware of this in the first place.)
The Delhi Pride Committee is totally free to all and has no posts or positions. I am an equal participants with any other. All decisions are taken collectively in pride planning meetings that are open to all. No one has any official (or unofficial) role. There is complete transparency and everything is done via volunteering efforts.
Note: The Delhi Pride Committee is totally free to all and has no posts or positions. I am an equal participants as any other. All decisions are taken collectively in pride planning meetings that are open to all. No one has any official (or unofficial) role. There is complete transparency and everything is done via volunteering efforts. The 6th Delhi Pride is expected to take place later this year. Visit delhiqueerpride.blogspot.sg for updates.