Today, for the first time ever, I was going to go into Southie and parade with my fellow Irish-Americans. After all, how could I not celebrate St. Patrick's Day - the year's second best very green holiday. Needless to say, my friends are always up for the traditional festivities of St. Patrick's Day, so it was a plan. Well, it was a plan until I read the latest Bay Windows editorial - where I learned something startling, to say the least. Gays and lesbians aren't allowed to march; St. Patrick's Day is a straight-only celebration; glbt people need not attend.
With all the hoopla and attention on New York City, who'd have thought liberal Massachusetts and its Southie neighborhood, with scores of gays and lesbians, would see such discrimination. A lot of people tend to try to think that kind of discrimination doesn't exist here in Massachusetts anymore, but clearly they're wrong. Discrimination is alive and kicking.
So, I didn't go to the St. Patrick's Day Parade. That section of Boston didn't get the cash I had in my pocket. Those parade planners didn't get to see me cheering them on - or the three friends who were going to go with me. I have way too much Irish Pride to celebrate my suppression. The people who openly discriminate against me are not my kind of Irish brothers and sisters - the kind of people who understand exactly what discrimination feels like, having gone through centuries of it. St. Patrick's Day doesn't belong to anyone - the fact that some people think they have the right to exclude others from joining in such public festivities is beyond outrageous. St. Patrick's parade planners should be ashamed.