Perspectives: Demanding our attention, open carry and gay pride activists

OPINION – They will not be ignored. They gather in public for the sole purpose of drawing attention to themselves and their cause. They demand greater societal acceptance and approval. Many seem to actually enjoy antagonizing people with images or ideas that some find objectionable.

Am I describing marchers in a gay pride parade or Open Carry Texas gun advocates?

Truthfully, both groups are engaged in a furious battle to sway public opinion. Both of them, by their actions, probably do more harm to their cause than good.

The group called Open Carry Texas has gained a lot of notoriety lately by showing up at various businesses armed with long guns. Under Texas law, open carry of handguns is prohibited so they carry what is legally permissible in an attempt to normalize the presence of firearms in public.

The group’s rally at a Chipotle restaurant has sparked a fiery blaze of discussion throughout the country. It also has prompted a handful of other businesses to consider making their property off limits to firearms.

Even the NRA released a statement reminding the open carry group that the kind of attention they were drawing wasn’t exactly of a supportive nature. If the goal of the participants was to win greater understanding and acceptance of the right to keep and bear arms, they don’t appear to be winning many converts.

By the same token, June is officially the month of gay pride. Here in Utah that means a pride festival that includes plenty of festivities intended to draw attention to the cause of gay rights.

In the past, this has included a blatant emphasis on sexuality and overt public displays of simulated sexual acts. Mocking and disparaging religious symbols and ideals has been standard fare for participants intent on expressing their pride as well.

Two years ago, a friend with small children took a wrong turn in downtown Salt Lake City and accidentally stumbled across the gay pride parade. Her kids were excited at the prospect of a parade, but she wasn’t about to expose them to the raunchy behavior that some of the participants were proudly flaunting.

If the stated purpose of the gay pride festival is to foment greater understanding and acceptance of homosexuals, it’s having the exact opposite effect on those they’re trying to influence.

In both cases, we have two contrasting groups that many would consider to be on the fringes of society, seeking to create positive change by demanding respect from others without giving it in return.

It helps to remember that the rifle-toting activists and their overly militant gay counterparts do not represent all gun owners or homosexuals.

The vast majority of gun owners are discreet and respectful about their right to bear arms—regardless of how passionately they feel about that right. In a similar fashion, many homosexuals are inconspicuous in how they live their lives, valuing their personal privacy over making everything into a political statement.

These are the people who will be most successful at actually changing the minds of others around them. They will succeed because the people closest to them will first get to truly know and trust them as individuals.

Once they have gained a degree of trust, they may choose to share the causes they find most compelling. Whether those with whom they share this become supporters of their cause or not, they will have shed a positive light on who they are and what they represent.

Those who have come to know them personally will find it nearly impossible to dismiss them as a mere caricature. This is the power of diplomacy.

I’ve personally seen this work in my own life when individuals who were skeptical about gun ownership became neutral or somewhat supportive after learning that I was a gun owner. Individuals who confided their homosexuality to me long after we had become friends were impossible to see as an enemy despite our differing standards.

Forcing others to confront and accept something they do not wish to is like walking up to a stranger, throwing a bucket of ice water in their face and then expecting them to thank us.

When it comes to convincing others of the worthiness of our cause, volume and shock value convey nothing. Publicly drawing attention to oneself is simply not enough to convince others to take us seriously.

If that were the case, teenage girls would rule the world.

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Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives talk show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: bryanh@stgnews.com

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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33 Comments

  • David Dalley June 5, 2014 at 7:59 am

    I take pride in so many things.

    My sexuality or preference or who I be humpin is not one of them.

  • Chuck Anziulewicz June 5, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Gay Pride parades have always had a festive, “Mardis Gras” sort of atmosphere. Granted, some participants will cross the lines of good taste, and truly obscene behavior is never condoned by event organizers. But frankly I doubt if the LGBT community would be any closer to fair and inclusive treatment in society if all the men in the parades wore sportcoats and ties, and all the women wore skirts, blouses, and sensible shoes. And THAT, by the way, would scare anti-Gay organizations more than anything!

    • Michael French June 6, 2014 at 1:09 am

      Well said, my friend, and surprised to see your comment here.

  • Ron June 5, 2014 at 8:35 am

    You’re actually starting to sound reasonable, Bryan. Good column.

    • Karen June 5, 2014 at 11:13 am

      I agree with Ron. Good column, Bryan.

  • Joanna June 5, 2014 at 9:49 am

    (Q) “Am I describing marchers in a gay pride parade or Open Carry Texas gun advocates?” (A) It’s a trick question – he’s actually describing his people over at Fox News. We see what you did there…

    In all seriousness, I worry about this writer dude’s children. First, they’re raised to believe texting and driving isn’t dangerous, And now, if any of them are gay, they’ll probably endure a lifetime of torment as everyone around them tries to “pray the gay away”. Don’t worry kids. As the saying goes, “It gets better”.

    • chupacabra June 5, 2014 at 3:54 pm

      Joanna your comments are delusional.

  • JAR June 5, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Good article Bryan. Makes a lot of sense for the times.
    I keep wondering however, Why are most divisions of our own government taking sides and trying to shove the gay crap, tolerance for all, guns are evil and even, teach the children the way we say or ‘your in big trouble mister’. Talk about bullies.
    I can’t get a handle on the reasons why we’re headed in so many screwed up different directions. Then I remember what is warned about in the (my) scriptures about conditions in the Last Days . Total confusion? Different camps for different zombies followers?

    • Brian June 5, 2014 at 12:03 pm

      If you want to understand what is going on in our government, look no further than the 45 stated goals of communism, as revealed by Cleon Skousen in 1958 in The Naked Communist, and added to the Congressional record in 1963. The correlation between these communist goals and the slide of our nation is uncanny at worst, prohpetic at best. As for our current discussion, pay particular attention to #25 and #26:

      25) Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography, and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio and TV.

      26) Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as “normal, natural, healthy.”

      Of the 45, at least 40 perfectly describe the current administration and explain their every action (when nothing else makes sense) and associations.

      Get right with God. The system is going to have serious problems (judgments) with horrific consequences. Righteousness and true discipleship will be the only shield there is.

      • Ron June 5, 2014 at 7:18 pm

        Still stuck in the 50s, Brian? Get over it. Communism is long-gone, and you’ve probably never read the source documents anyway, just the McCarthy-era propaganda.

      • Not hurting you June 6, 2014 at 6:53 am

        I bet the stated rules and goals in your religion would make communism look like Utopia.

      • Chris June 8, 2014 at 1:12 pm

        Anything “revealed” by cleon skousen (not deserving of capitalization) is total b.s.

  • Whitney June 5, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    This piece was almost too ridiculous to comment on, but it annoyed me enough when I got to this line that I felt I had to say something about it.

    “Forcing others to confront and accept something they do not wish to is like walking up to a stranger, throwing a bucket of ice water in their face and then expecting them to thank us.”

    Well, sometimes people NEED a ‘bucket of water’ thrown in their face. They need a shock, no matter if they like it or not, to wake up and realize change is coming. This comment refers to the gay pride activists, I don’t even want to get into the gun rights argument right here.
    When federal courts are declaring bans on gay marriage unconstitutional throughout the US, it’s becoming apparent that this is the future of the nation and the equal rights of all people in it. Which, if you think about it, will stop the need for all these activism events anyways so you won’t have anything to point to in your distaste for the homosexual lifestyle.

    Also, I don’t like using my preconceptions of people in an argument, however I am going to assume since you are not accepting of homosexuality there is probably a religious reason behind it, as it has been in every other person I’ve met who felt the same way. For a man who claims that it is offensive and appalling to ‘force others to confront and accept something they do not wish to,’ I feel the same way when christians and other religious groups use their religious beliefs and ancient texts as an actual logical argument. I, along with many other people who are agnostic or atheist or “still searching,” should not have to be forced to listen to YOUR beliefs all the time as an argument for or against every law and movement throughout history.

    However, I am cognizant enough of the idea that every human deserves to live their life how they want to in peace, so I do not take personal issue with someone who does choose to live their life involved in religion. If it makes your life happier and more full, then that’s great, I commend that.
    So that also has to go for someone who chooses to marry someone else of the same sex.

    Sorry for the lengthy post, however just a simple sentence that could wrap this up nicely;
    You stop yelling and shouting your arguments against equality, and gay rights activists will stop having to try to make noise over you. I think it’s just that easy.

  • zzzz June 5, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    “Individuals who confided their homosexuality to me long after we had become friends were impossible to see as an enemy despite our differing standards.”

    Isn’t that sweet, Hyde has some queer friends. So proud of u Hyde for not putting them on you “enemy list”…idiot.

    • my opinion is simply that June 12, 2014 at 6:14 am

      Seriously? You demand repect, but you don’t give it? Zzzzz you may want to rethink your comment. Because you are proving his theory in this article. Go ahead and mock him for being accepting of other people. Isn’t that what this whole “Gay Pride” thing is about, and yet you mock. Hmm…. intolerance comes in many forms.

  • kacee June 5, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Great article Bryan. I agree that there will always be those in any group that will take things to far. I truly believe most in the prominent Utah faith would have to have a gay son or daughter to really deal with the issue of homosexuality. (As our LDS family has)

  • Johnson June 5, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    I think these people who openly carry weapons have small penises and the gun they sport outside their pants is an attempt to make up for the small caliber in their pants. They don’t realize just how stupid they look with a gun strapped to. Impotence must be a embarrassing thing.

    • my opinion is simply that June 12, 2014 at 6:18 am

      Really? That was the most intelligent thing you could think of to reply. I think I would rather be small down there than have a small brain.

  • Bang Bang June 5, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Gays can get beaten up and arrested by church thugs for holding hands on some mormon church property. However, those church thugs won’t touch these retarded cowboy wannabes regardless how threatening they appear. That shows the extreme homophobia the church has.

    • my opinion is simply that June 12, 2014 at 6:32 am

      Beating up is so wrong, but may I ask what compelled you to interupt a religious service where intimacy is taught to be a sacred privilege between a man and a women who are married. If you knew that, then why did you disrespect what the mormon’s believe by trying to force your views in the lords house? They didn’t hold their sacrament meeting in your home. If they even tried, you probably would have beaten them up by gay thugs and had them arrested. Remember, you must respect to be respected.

    • Anney June 28, 2014 at 10:40 pm

      I believe that shows the insane homophobia some individuals have.

  • Moray Literim June 5, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    I have a friend who’s open carry gay. He said its hard to walk cause their feet keep getting tangled

  • Braydon June 6, 2014 at 12:53 am

    This was such an ignorant article. This guy has no understanding of what gay pride is about.

    “They gather in public for the sole purpose of drawing attention to themselves and their cause.”

    Umm, no. We gather in public for a series of reasons. One, we came from hiding and aren’t about to go back to hidden basements. Two, coming of age, learning who you are, and finally coming out is something that can’t be understood by someone who hasn’t experienced it.

    Yes, there’s a reason why we do so much in public. Whether or not some people take things too far is beside the point. We NEED pride. It’s the one place where you don’t worry about being judged, not getting the job, not landing the sale, not getting beat up. There’s so much more to pride than awareness. It’s a necessity.

    • my opinion is simply that June 12, 2014 at 6:50 am

      I obviously have too much time on my hands today, but I must respond. If you were my potential employer, buyer, random person on the street and I said, “hello, my name is so and so. My wife/husband and I enjoy relations about three times a week in a whole array of positions.” Do you think they are thinking, you got the job, the sale, friendship just by those few sentences? No, especially if that is how you began your conversation. You are a person with skills and qualities that make you valuable to those who need those skills and qualities. Quit banking your whole life on your sexual orientation! Your worth more than that. Judging people on their sexuality is so degrading, I see young girls doing this. They think the sexier they are the more guys will look at them. Those same guys ARE looking at them, but they aren’t repecting them in thier thoughts. It’s the same thing.

      • Anney June 28, 2014 at 10:37 pm

        I don’t think that every person who is a homosexual tells everyone they meet about their sexual preference right off the bat. I think you’re confusing an organized protest with their every day life. In general, if a qualified gay person doesn’t get a job, I can assure you it’s not because they described sexual positions at their job interview.

  • Rearry Entter June 6, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Braydon you be funny. Of course you still hid but not in basements mostly in public bath rooms, or a long the river banks at city parks, truck stop restrooms, bushes a long side rest stop area, dark corner of parking garage, ya even in the dark basement still. Just because a snake pokes his head up sometimes he still hides. underneath us all.

    • my opinion is simply that June 12, 2014 at 6:53 am

      Not cool!

  • Chuck Anziulewicz June 6, 2014 at 10:03 am

    One of the most amusing comments I read on the web recently was, “I’m sick to death of all these Gay Pride parades. Maybe it’s time to have a Straight Pride Parade.”

    And I immediately thought to myself that if Straight people were ever fired from their jobs, kicked out of their rental properties, turned away from businesses, or denied the right to marry the person they love solely on the basis of THEIR sexual orientation, it might make having a Straight Pride event worthwhile. But of course Straight people have never had to worry about such things. Is it asking too much that Gay people ought not to have to worry about such things, either?

  • Marco Luxe June 6, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Bryan kinda had a point, until he got to all that misinformed homophobia. Notice he never said he or his friend saw anything improper at the Utah Pride parade, only that he was afraid that he would. Bryan, you owe it to yourself and your readers to actually go to the parade. You’ll see Mormon Moms, church groups, Boy Scouts, political organizations, sports teams, roller skaters and others parading their, well, normalcy, even if a few are in clownish costumes or outlandish drag. What’s a parade without clowns? Heck, if you’re really that afraid to confront your preconceptions, you can even watch it on YouTube
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MO9G4PqMps
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44ikYw-XxbY

    But the parade you created in your prurient imagination sounds like much more fun.

  • GEICO GECKO June 9, 2014 at 8:15 am

    How about a compromise: “Open Pride”.

  • my opinion is simply that June 12, 2014 at 5:45 am

    Call me nieve, but I have never understood “gay rights”. Besides marrying each other, what else are they not allowed to do or have? Are they looking for more rights than people get? Because then its not “gay rights” its “gay privilege”. And to be honest we are all held accountable for our own actions, if someone chooses to be gay that is their problem. The only thing I ask is that when introducing yourself to me, dont lead or follow with ” I’m gay” I could really give a crap less who or what posiion you have sex in. And I really don’t need a visual. You can call it intollerance, I call it professionalism. That is something I can learn about you after we get to know each other better. I have never introduced myself to someone I barely know by telling them about my sex life. Swaping significant other stories can happen after we develop a friendship. And if we never do, then you don’t know anymore about me than I do about you.

  • my opinion is simply that June 12, 2014 at 6:00 am

    Also, if I mention having a spouse opposite of my gender. I don’t need you looking down your nose at me just because I am straight. Just because I choose to be straight, doesn’t mean I think you can’t be gay. And that is the stereotype gay people put on straight people. So we aren’t the only ones who are intolerant. So go be gay and live your life and I will be straight and live mine. If our paths cross, treat me with the same respect you expect from me.

  • Anney June 28, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    How often has change actually happened in history without the use of public protest? Simply telling your neighbors that you own a gun will never make national headlines. If gay pride festivals are having the opposite effect, how is it that pro-gay laws are being discussed and ratified every day?

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