The whole "why flaunt it with parades" argument really fucking annoys me.
Guess who else flaunts it with parades? Well, Irish Americans like my family, for one. Ireland never had parades on St. Patrick's Day. It was a religious observance. The first parade for St. Patrick's Day was actually in Colonial America as a way for oppressed Irish immigrants to show their solidarity, demonstrate their growing political clout, and have a little fucking PRIDE in their heritage. The first St. Patrick's Parade in the world was in Boston in 1737. The first St. Patrick's Day Parade in Ireland was in 1931, nearly two hundred years later.
Who else? What about Columbus Day? That celebration began as a way for oppressed Catholics in general, and later oppressed Italian Catholics in particular, to show their political strength by celebrating someone that (most of) the rest of America would also honor.
And Cinco de Mayo? It's not Mexican Independence Day. It celebrates the Mexican Army's victory over a vastly more powerful French Army in 1862. It was annually a tiny celebration in the Mexican province of Puebla (not even celebrated throughout Mexico, just one province). Mexican-Americans in California blew it up into a big deal in the U.S. as a way of showing their strength and celebrating their cultural PRIDE.
Gay Pride Parades also celebrate our strength, unity, and yes, our fucking PRIDE. Are we flaunting it? Hell, yeah! Of course we are. Just like Irish Americans and Italian Americans and Mexican Americans flaunt their pride as a way of demonstrating their clout.
My essay on the subject a few years ago....