www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-gay-pride-20130629,0,1914461.story

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Pride celebration shows the diversity of Baltimore's gay community

June 30, 2013

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After reading commentator Brandon Ambrosino's arguments about what good the LGBT Pride Celebration does, I feel sorry for the author because I don't find his arguments lofty so much as childlike ("What I would march for," June 28).

He reminds me of a fussy child who refuses to eat broccoli — in spite of never having eaten before — and says: "I don't like it!"

Mr. Ambrosino looks down on gay pride celebrations even though he admits never going to one. Instead, he bases his opinion on what he has seen in the media or what he has heard from others.

Having no first-hand experience, he stereotypes an entire event. And like a child who refuses to eat anything because the main course is touching the potatoes, Mr. Ambrosino doesn't want to go to the pride event because of what he perceives as guilt by association with other celebrants.

What Mr. Ambrosino doesn't understand is that this celebration is more than what he thinks it is. He's never participated in one, so how he can condemn it, based only on the more flamboyant aspects covered by the media?

At Pride he would see that the LGBT community has diversity. Yes, there are drag queens — drag queens helped start the Stonewall riot that gave birth to the gay rights movement and led eventually to last week's Supreme Court decision.

But there are also committed couples, organization and clubs. Want to march for dignity? You can do that, but you need to respect the dignity of others as well.

And yes, there is a party atmosphere, because Pride is at its heart, a celebration. Don't want to be on TV? Simple enough: Stay away from the cameras.

Before you judge Pride or the gay community engage with the event. Like the child who hates broccoli having never tasted it, afterward you might just discover that you like it after all.

Stuart Koblentz-Haley, Baltimore