Very Strange Bedfellows

Pub date May 26, 2013
SectionPolitics Blog

If you stop and think about it for a moment, Memorial Day Weekend and Gay Pride weekends have a lot in common.

Both came about to commemorate serious and life-changing events for millions of people.

Now, not really about either. Memorial Day, except to veterans and families of the deceased, is the “beginning of summer”. Boat on lake and barbeques. Politicians may pay homage to fallen soldiers but it’s really Labor Day’s bookend to most. Gay Pride is now a city to city franchise of a sort, kind of a traveling mega party. Which make sense in both cases–as conscription ended in the 1970’s, the professional military represents a smaller and smaller segment of the American public (so much for shared sacrifice). And even though Stonewall was less than 45 years ago, a gay or lesbian kid now–even in the heart of the Bible Belt–could never imagine how secretive people had to be, even in the “enlightened 60’s”. 

It isn’t a bad thing. It’s human nature. Just strange how two supposedly disparate events are so similar.