Fifteen years ago today, Matthew Shepherd was chained to George Bush's pick-up truck and brutally murdered by a gang of Christian Conservatives. Apparently, America hasn't learned a single lesson from Shepherd's tragic death, for just last week four blatantly homophobic firefighters filed a lawsuit against the City of San Diego for "forcing" them to march in the annual Gay Pride Parade.
Throught history, Gay Pride parades have served as an opportunity for GLBTHBP Americans to lather up and come together under a rainbow-colored flag of friendship - and to engage in activites that would get them arrested for public indecency anywhere else. The participation of city employees and government officials in these wonderful parades not only sets an example for the less flamboyantly gay public to follow, but provides the festivities with an air of legitimacy that would otherwise require marchers to leave their feathery buttplugs at home and behave like mature, rational adults. Firepersyns and other public servants shouldn't have to be "forced" to participate, they should do so willingly and without any gripes about thong-wearing bikers humping their legs like dogs in heat. But even the fireperysns who volunteered to march refused to wear the rainbow diapers and fire sprinkler nipple rings that the city generously provided for them.
Although they wrap themselves in a cloak of moral superiority, these four FireBigots, and George Bush as well, have stolen something from the Gay Community that years of buggery will never bring back - their dignity.