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Monday, March 17, 2014

It's Saint Patrick's Day, Everyone is Irish... well not really everyone...

It is 2014. It is March 17, 2014, which means it is St. Patrick's Day. The one day when everyone is Irish, supposedly. So why, in 2014, are two of the biggest cities in the United States, excluding LGBT citizens the right to march alongside their cis-gendered fellows and peers? Two of the most liberal cities in the United States is excluding gays from their parades, because.... I'm not really sure. It's legal for them to do this, because the parades are run by private groups. But the sponsor's are also run by private groups. The marchers are private citizens, and the officials that run these cities are also private citizens. For some reason the St. Patrick's Day parade groups in New York and Boston have made severe mistakes. They have taken a day when everyone wears green and claims the most tenuous connection with the Emerald Isle, and excluded the other colors of the Rainbow, and have told the LGBT community, "You are not Irish."

Dublin is LGBT Friendly

The Parade in the Capital of the birthplace of St. Patrick's Day, Dublin, is allowing their LGBT community to proudly march in the open. In the place where they can't agree on who's interpretation of the Christian Bible, is correct and routinely kill each other because of that, can agree that it's okay to be gay and out, in their parade. They have come out strongly is support of their LGBT community, and have for years. Even though the Irish PM says he will march in the New York Parade, because, "The St. Patrick’s Day parade (in New York) is a parade about our Irishness and not about sexuality, and I would be happy to participate in it"

Beer is LGBT Friendly... Now

Sam Adams, Guiness, and Heinekien have all withdrawn support from the Saint Patrick's Day parade. Beer, the lifeblood that keeps Saint Patrick's Day in a stupor of veiled racism and stereotypes of the drunken leprechaun vomiting into a pot of piss drunkenness, says, "Dude that's fucked up." Now there are reasons that the beer companies are withdrawing their support, that have nothing to do with diversity. They are in business to make money, and excluding a full ten percent of your drinking audience is bad for business. Though that may be a concern for these companies, they are making the right choice, regardless off their reasons.

Mayors are LGBT Friendly 

New York City's Newest Mayor is the embodiment of Diversity, a straight, white, male married to a black woman who has had female partners. He has decided to break with 235 years of tradition by boycotting the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade, due to the exclusion of the Queer communities open engagement in Irish Pride.
Boston's Mayor, Marty Walsh, has decided to forgo the St. Patrick's Day Parade in one of the most Irish Cities in the United States. He has decided to not support the parade because of it's organizer's refusal to allow LGBT members of his constituency to participate openly. 

So Why Can't the Parades be Inclusive

The Parades are organized and run by private groups of citizens that apply for permits and put all the float rules and marching order together and literally give people their marching orders. They have decided that the LGBT community can't prticipate in these two parades, and probably many more. This is chilling in more ways than one, because it sends a message to all the LGBT people, young and old that live in these cities. It sends a message that anyone can claim an Irish Heritage by getting drunk and wearing green, as long as you are not attracted to people who claim the same gender, or as long as you don't have any questions about your gender.

You can't have a significant population of your city, that supports the local economy, invests in their communities, and supports their local governments, and then tell them they cannot participate in it's celebration of their heritages. Are we next going to tell the LGBT community they can't participate in 4th of July celebrations, or that they can't go Christmas Caroling? How long are we going to deny a significant portion of our population their place in our? How long are we going to tell our youth that their budding feelings are wrong, just because they don't conform to the majority population's ideas of what is right? How can we say that we are an inclusive and accepting society when we can now celebrate one group that was vilified and denigrated, to exclude another group that is facing that same exclusion? 

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