Gay Pride | I'm from Driftwood | LGBT Stories | Nathan Manske

LGBT Stories: Inclusion Activist Organizes Protest Against Kansas City Pride

Wick Thomas TR


Guestblogger Nathan Manske and Marquise Lee embarked on a 4 month, 50 state tour of the United States collecting stories for their I'm From Driftwood site. We'll be sharing some of the stories they collected along with some of the insight into what they saw. They're still encouraging people to submit their written stories via IFD. You can follow IFD on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Driftwood Wick's story brings up a topic that seems to arise every year around this time: What's the meaning of Pride? And is it helpful to protest our own events? It kind of reminds me of the ENDA battle and the debate between those who thought the LGB folks should go ahead and get their rights sooner and then we'll go back and get the rights of people who are transgender later, and those who think it should be all or nothing. Regardless, the protest Wick helped organize in Kansas City seemed to produce some positive results for the community.


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Speaking of inclusion...I'm From Driftwood is really excited to be a part of the upcoming Pop-Up Museum of Queer History. In addition to trying to help queer youth feel not so alone in the world, I've always seen IFD as a sort of archive of our history. We'll be sharing Video Stories from older folks who give first-person accounts of what queer life was like in the 50s and 60s. Hugh Ryan, the project's curator who also wrote his own IFD story, explains:

The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History transforms empty spaces into temporary installations on the rich, long, and largely unknown histories of LGBT people. We believe our community - and especially our youth - deserve to know the truth. If you don't know you have a past, how can you believe you have a future? To support our work, visit

The museum will open in early August.

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  1. Pride and most other mainstream gay organizations are, where I live, controlled by a few cliques. It's basically like junior high, high school, or a small college. The official gay 'community' can be very stifling and fake.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jun 2, 2011 12:44:06 PM

  2. What does it mean when someone considers themselves queer?

    Posted by: Alex | Jun 2, 2011 1:01:44 PM

  3. This is getting ridiculous.

    Posted by: blatherer | Jun 2, 2011 1:22:39 PM

  4. when i see things like this, i have hope for the youth of today.

    Posted by: alguien | Jun 2, 2011 1:33:00 PM

  5. @Alex, it means they don't ascribe to themselves a heteronormative identity.

    Posted by: Ben | Jun 2, 2011 1:40:37 PM

  6. @Alex: It generally means that they don't consider themselves rigidly defined as "gay" or "lesbian" or "bi" or "transgender". They may not adhere to gender norms in addition to being open to both sexes in terms of relationships or physical attractions. It's a pretty nebulous term but generally is used to identify as being outside of any set of gender/sexual norms in appearance, behavior, or perspective. That's my understanding of it.

    I usually bristle a bit when I hear about these sorts of intra-counter protests, but after hearing his reasoning, I can totally see his point. The issue of exclusion and blanketing with the concept of "white gay sexual male" pride events, how minorities within the LGBT community (such as the trans community, the bi community, handicapped, racial and ethnic communities) are often disenfranchised from participation, and the concerns about pride as a affluence-driven event for those gays who have versus those "have nots" isn't new. It's disturbing, but unsurprising, that Kansas Pride would endorse and support an area with that much of a controversially classist and racist contemporary practice. It really does send the wrong message of the LGBT community, in my opinion, that we're not about changing the system to be less oppressive, but instead more interested in being able to access that system ourselves.

    Posted by: luminum | Jun 2, 2011 1:50:21 PM

  7. In simplest terms, I see Queer as non-normative. So it's not about gays trying to fit in and assimilate, but about each person deciding for themselves who and what we are. It's also more inclusive than other single terms. I usually refer to myself as gay, but am fine w queer too.

    Go Wick!

    Posted by: David R. | Jun 2, 2011 2:45:25 PM

  8. why protest instead of organizing a new pride? the whole thing seems misguided, or some byproduct of the "protester as identity" culture. though i appreciate the usage of queer, i find dividing lgbt into its million splitters to be politically inhibiting. the civil rights movement didnt categorically break down blackness into its groups of african ethnicity or carribean peoples of origin. its easier to punch with a fist than with fingers.

    also uptalking is so 90's

    Posted by: mld | Jun 2, 2011 4:25:29 PM

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