Named for Juno, the Roman goddess of women, marriage, and childbirth, June remains one of the most popular months for weddings. Its temperate climate also wins accolades, as from poet James Russell Lowell: “And what is so rare as a day in June? / Then, if ever, come perfect days.”
In our present age, June is also that “month-long observance in celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people.” With its rainbows and flags, parades and festivals, extensive media coverage, and sundry politicians, celebrities, and cultural gurus urging one and all to participate, Pride Month is here.
Of course, not all of us are joining the Pride parade. In May, after Bud Light featured a man pretending to be a woman in one of its promotions, consumer sales of that product crashed, and its stock continues to plummet. Target has drawn similarly silent but effective protests against its rainbow apparel and its promotion of the transgender lifestyle, with its sales and stocks also cratering.
Even some in the LGBTQ community consider Pride Month an absurdity, though for other reasons. In “Why I don’t celebrate gay pride,” for instance, Bre DeGrant writes, “I’ve always been a lesbian. Why should I act like it’s an accomplishment?”
The left has touted the idea that being gay is not a choice one makes, so why indeed are they celebrating it like an accomplishment?
In our culture, pride at its best is what we feel in our actual accomplishments. The man I know who builds beautiful furniture, the woman who ranks in my book as an at-home master chef, the couples raising strong, loving, capable children: These people have a right to have pride in themselves and what they are doing. In addition, they are reserved and humble regarding their talents. They know that boasting isn’t pride but rather hubris topped off with arrogance.
Such quiet humility is AWOL during Pride Month.
Pride Month strikes many as simultaneously boastful and empty, Shakespeare’s “sound and fury, signifying nothing.” In a Reddit post on the topic, an anonymous gay man shares these thoughts:
I personally feel like modern American pride is all about consumerism; corporations selling garish & tacky rainbow wares, influencers and celebrities letting their followers know how ‘open and accepting’ they are, and some of my fellow gay contemporaries going out of their way to intentionally be as annoying and grating as possible. I don’t see how American pride actually helps anyone besides rich people, therefor[e] I don’t want to be a part of it.
Many of those in the comments section, several of whom are gay, more or less agree with this writer.
Doubtless other LGBTQ men and women agree as well, though to say so might well spark attacks from the online mob. The writer above shields himself by assailing consumerism, but certainly the problem of pride isn’t mere consumerism.
Vacuous and self-conceited, this style of boastful pride has a long, dreary history of ending badly. Here is C.S. Lewis from Mere Christianity:
“The vice I am talking of is Pride or Self-Conceit: and the virtue opposite to it, in Christian morals, is called Humility. … According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”
We’d all do well to heed Lewis’ words. Perhaps the path to healing our culture means rejecting the vice that leads to all others. And perhaps we should return June to its humble origins and enjoy it as Lowell described: “And what is so rare as a day in June? / Then, if ever, come perfect days.”
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