It’s June – the gayest month of the year! Pride events are already springing up across our great nation with rainbows flying proudly. Families are bringing picnics, musicians are performing in the open air. Booths, displays and giveaways give free information and entertainment to the LGBT community. Children have their faces painted, pretty beads and balloons are everywhere. People stroll in public parks and down public streets holding hands or even kissing. And nobody has to hide. There is no shame allowed. That’s why it’s called PRIDE, by the way.
I’m old enough to remember the first struggling Pride parades (if not old enough to have actually participated in any). And I grew up in an area of the country where conservative values have a choke hold on the community. So I’d never seen anything like the Twin Cities Pride, that is until 2002. The parade alone pulled a quarter of a million people, not all of them lesbians, or gays, or bisexuals, or transgendered folks. A whole lot of supportive straight friends and families contribute to the atmosphere of acceptance and collective strength. If you’re supportive of gay rights, find your local Pride event and go down and check it out. If you have friends that are supportive, bring them along. The more public support we have, the better.
President Obama may never have been to a Pride festival, and probably won’t for quite awhile. But I’m sure, absolutely positive, that he’s welcome at any one he might choose to visit. Here is his declaration of June 2012 as National LGBT Pride Month:
I never thought I’d live to see the day that I’d have a black president endorsing gay marriage and offering public support for our civil rights. Why, it’s enough to give one Pride, with a capital ‘P’.
HAPPY PRIDE MONTH!