June is Pride month. This will be my third year not participating in SF Pride, the first two because of the pandemic, and this year because I wasn’t invited back…and moved out of the bay area. There’s a part of me that misses it, but the agoraphobe in me does not.
I once thought we were making so much progress in the area of equal rights, but the last few years have proven me wrong. We’re sliding inexorably backward. Our rights are under constant attack. Our young people feel threatened. Hate crime continues to be a problem, and in some areas, it is a worsening problem.
People are still being killed just because of what is or is not in their pants or how they dress/present themselves to the world.
People ask why we still need Pride.
Well, we need Pride for the 8-year-old who knows she’s a girl but was born with a penis whose parents will not acknowledge her gender. We need pride for the gay teenager who really wants to take his boyfriend to prom but is afraid they will get beaten up. We need Pride for the shy lesbian teens on their first date who are afraid to hold hands. We need Pride for the teacher who won’t put a picture on her desk of her family, because she might lose her job if people knew that her spouse was a wife and not a husband.
Have we come a long way since the fifties? Sure, but our progress has not just stalled, it has started to slide backward in a lot of ways and there is still such a long, long way to go.
We are not done. The fight is not over. Stay strong, my friends, and battle on.
Happy Monday, and Happy Pride, Readers. May this week bring you a multitude of blessings.
Photo by Jiroe (Matia Rengel) on Unsplash