Archive for June, 2017

Pride: Why We Celebrate and Why We Fight

Posted on: June 9th, 2017 by Collective Conscience

Curious why my chosen family and I post pictures with rainbows all month? Because it’s PRIDE!

Pride comes from the years of building up the courage to tell your family who you really are. It is then having conversations a second time, and a third. It is “coming out” over and over again to cousins, colleagues, new friends. For some, it is the moment when you willingly let go of a meaningful family relationship or friend because they will not accept you. Pride is self-respect and self-love.

Pride is slowly but surely shedding the shame so that you can hold the hand of the guy you love in public. And, it is terrifying to do in many cities in America still, no matter that it is 2017 and you have been “out” for a decade or longer. Pride is posting that first picture of you and your first boyfriend on social media. In that moment, it is accompanied by a slight anxiety, but a recognition that you want the world to know ho happy you are together. Pride is displaying your family photo on your desk at work, knowing you can be fired in many states if the boss doesn’t like what he or she sees.

Pride is standing on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court with your best friend and partner hearing that, for the first time, your government affirms that you are equal. Imagine how that feels after living decades knowing that the government actively denied your equality.

Pride is seeing you father’s corporate America embrace their LGBTQ family and customers with rainbow products and LGBT affirming display windows. Pride is joining a parade with co-workers and friends, seeing signs everywhere that society loves you. Pride is major league ballparks hosting LGBTQ Pride Nights, where the kiss cam may stop and you, and the crowd will cheer at the result, despite the fact that we still don’t have an out major league ball player. And Pride is seeing families embrace their out and proud high school (and younger) LGBTQ children!

This year, Pride is also resistance. Pride originated in riots and protests in the late 1960s. It was LGBT Americans claiming our power and telling society and government that we would no longer accept being marginalized; we would not acquiesce to facing discrimination daily. Today, that threat is real once again. So now, Pride is fighting hard and demanding our protections and progress not face erosion. This White House hasn’t issued a Pride Proclamation. Instead, they have issued executive orders offering loopholes for federal contractors to discriminate against us. They have turned their back on our civil rights, through decisions made at the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services. And, they are attacking our equality by attacking the Affordable Care Act, which has helped LGBTQ Americans to get health insurance and culturally competent health care.

So, while we thank you for celebrating with us, this year we need more. Your presence marching in the parade, attending a party, or offering a Happy Pride to a friend of colleague is a meaningful symbol of your commitment as an ally. Now, join us at a protest march. Join us in calling Congress to demand that they NOT pass a health care law that threatens our health. Join us in holding Trump and those who marginalize us accountable. Join us with Pride…