Pride: Not Just About the Parade

It’s not just about the parade: Why pride still matters – LGBTQ Nation.

This is a good piece by Barbara Weicksel. She notes, “This world we live in is not always easy. It’s not always filled with love and hope and peace. More often than not, it’s filled with hate and war and people who love to judge.

“We are judged by what we wear, where we live, what we drive, the color of our skin, the tone of our voice, the car we drive, and, yes… who we love.”

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Image| Wikimedia Commons: Benson Kua

But today, in a world where marriage equality is surely happening in places that we never thought it might even a year ago, in a world where the web is chock-a-block with gay-themed content even while mainstream television is not, in a world where tolerance, if not outright acceptance, is at a high, certainly in my lifetime, is there really a reason for a pride parade?

Absolutely, unequivocally, YES.

When I went to my first pride parade, I was only ever-so-slightly out. I wasn’t ready to accept myself completely and I certainly didn’t believe that anyone else would. And I was scared to death.

My first pride event was the 1993 March on Washington, D.C. It was so big they made a documentary film about it. There were more people on the Mall that April day than I ever saw at Presidential inaugurals or the insanity that is the 4th of July in the capital. I was in awe of that crowd.

And I learned that I absolutely was not alone; that there were, at the very least, a million other people just like me who descended on Washington that day; that I would be all right and that, in today’s parlance, it would get better.

In spite of the Internet and web series and Sunday morning talk shows and Oprah and self-help d’jour, there is, I guarantee it, somebody in Connersville, Indiana or Orangeburg, South Carolina or Bend, Oregon or New York City who is scared and desperate and does not yet understand that it is okay to be themselves. The bloody, bold, resolute, wild and garish pride parade is a hell of a lot more than cute boys dancing on a parade float; it’s a message that everyone can and will be accepted. Keep it going!

Stuart Milk On LGBT Rights: ‘We Still Have A Long Way To Go’

“There’s a misconception that we have now achieved everything but marriage equality, and that’s just not the case. We still don’t have societal equality,” Milk said. “You can ask any African American, any Latino, if they were not treated equally somewhere along the line. Whenever you have a group that can be marginalized, you have to be vigilant in protecting those rights. Equality requires constant vigilance and it doesn’t end with same-sex marriage.

“We can legalize all day long, but we need to change the conversation,” Milk added. “For so long we’ve taught the message of tolerance. But tolerance is such a low bar. Who really wants to be tolerated? As I always say, we need to celebrate diversity, not just tolerate it.”

via Stuart Milk On LGBT Rights: ‘We Still Have A Long Way To Go’|Huffington Post

I agree. Then again, tolerance is something. By and large, we are edging away from tolerance and into general acceptance, but it’s a progession. It’s immensely frustrating to be sure, but it’s happening. And, actually, it’s happening on an astonishing pace, not only in the U.S. but throughout the developed world.

Unfortunately, it remains important that Stuart Milk must prompt us to remember that the pleas of his uncle, Harvey, for gay people to come out, to stand out, to be proud, and to serve as models are still extremely important to our daily lives. But, thus far, we’ve been so successful in changing minds and opinions, we can have a day where this picture is (rightly) celebrated!

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Tenacious LGBT heroine Edith Windsor, 84, took her fight against DOMA to the Supreme Court of the United States and won. Here she is holding a fan bearing her image at the New York City gay pride parade just days after her June 26, 2013 victory. | Craig Ruttle/AP Photo