Just about a week ago my hometown saw the third ever gay march take place in Bulgaria. Also, visiting several Central and Eastern European countries in the past month or so, I have been able to observe and read reactions to gay marches taking place in these countries as well. In light of that, the title above is not a rhetorical question at all. I've been truly wondering about what it is that gay and lesbian people hope to achieve through their marches...
These last two days I've been reading P. D. James' "The Private Patient" (Faber and Faber, 2008) and noticed the following two interesting passages regarding the topic at hand.
I don't see the point of it. If I were heterosexual you wouldn't expect me to go marching down the high street to proclaim that I was straight. Why do we need to do it? Isn't the whole point that we have a perfect right to be what we are? We don't need to justify it, or advertise it, or proclaim it to the world. I don't see why my sexuality should be of interest to antone except you. (Marcus Westhall, a homosexual responding to his gay partner's entreaties to join him in a gay march.)
It must seem perverse in us to tie a legal knot when you heteros are scrambling in thousands to divorce, or living together without benefit of marriage. We were perfectly happy as we were but we needed to ensure that each is the other's recognized next of kin. If Annie is ever in hospital, I need to be there. And then there's the property. If I die first, it must go untaxed to Annie. I expect she'll spend most of it on lame ducks but that's up to her. It won't be wasted. Annie is very wise. People think that our partnership lasts because I'm the stronger and Annie needs me. Actually the reverse is true, and you're one of the rare people who've seen that from the start. Thank you for being with us today. (Clara, a lesbian and friend of his wife-to-be Emma, adressing Commander Adam Dalgliesh.)
In fact, I've encountered quite a number of homosexual characters in the novels that I read (Ruth Rendell's "End in Tears", Patricia Cornwell's "Book of the Dead" and "Scarpetta", and John Grisham's collection of short-stories "Ford County" are just a few that come to mind). It's made me realize how far behind our Bulgarian society really is. (A fact about which I'm not altogether sorry.) The issue of homosexuals and their civil rights remains to be decided in my country and the time is ripe for questions.
One can read more about the latest "gay pride" march at the following links:- Sofia Pride (article in Wikipedia)