We do not feel pride in' being gay' or in our sexuality at all. Gay pride is about the personal coming out process and how we handled those challenges. We feel personal and collective pride in how we responded to the social pressure, the stigma, the systemic efforts to shame and control us by the majority throughout decades and centuries of repression. The Pride March performs three different but interconnected functions . 1. Celebrates all those individual personal victories in a public forum. Its sort of a public 'Victory Dance' over the cultural and social efforts to shame us into compliance and submission. This is a party with balloons and streamers and a theme. Its supposed be fun, cheeky, a bit wild, but it is not a really a super exclusive or private party. Just like most parties, gay people tend invite some straight guests along as their 'plus ones'. Of course there are always social tensions that complicate who gets invited and who is unwelcome at even the most open 'bring your own beer' house parties. We have our politics and egos too! 2. Represents a political statement in support of gay rights activism. This is essentially the same role that every other political protest performs whether it is a pro life march or anti war demonstration. It seeks media attention on the 'cause', and demands reform of perceived social and legal injustices. Activism is about confronting the status quo, and provoking a response. Immoderate and Intemperate speech is what all political protests are about. You don't bring your 'indoor voice' or your diplomats to a political demonstration. 3. It reinforces the collective ties within the LBGTQ subculture ( its 'counter-cultural' identity) and its sense of community. Subcultures can identify behind a religion, and ethnicity, a geographic area, or a set of mutual experiences. Like many other subcultures, The queer counter-culture originated as a negative response to the prevailing culture. It developed its own argot, symbols, style, musical and theatrical art, and memes. The functions of gay pride marches, and their role in defining the relationship of the queer community to the broader straight culture will inevitably change and adapt over time and what purpose they need to serve both within the queer community, and in relation to exterior forces in the city they are being held in . How much 'party' we bring to it, how much political posturing we bring to it, and how much subcultural unity we want to stress, is up for grabs! Not a lot of this translates well to 'straight pride march' but as far as I am concerned, who am I as a gay man, to tell you straights you can't try to find a purpose buried in there somewhere to reply to with a march of your own. The worry comes when the majority with the power and historic propensity to discriminate, bully and marginalize a minority, isn't very careful in its messaging, and packaging of its protest themes, it can become an excuse to advocate for the same bullying behavior that it did before.