Skip to main content

Why We Still Need Pride

Pride was always an act of defiance.


Even when I came out in 2011, and things were so much easier than when Chicago held its first Pride Parade (one year after the Stonewall riots) – even then, we still had civil unions instead of marriage equality, the Defense of Marriage Act seemed to have an impossibly secure foothold in America, and the idea of protective bills for LGBT citizens passing was, if not laughable, quixotic. We're still working on that one.

At the parade in 2013, we celebrated United States v. Windsor, and the ability for people to have their marriage recognized at a federal level. In 2014 we were fighting for it to be recognized everywhere, and in 2015, Justice Anthony Kennedy said "Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."


After last year, I was done being defiant for Pride. I wouldn't go to the parade anymore. Everyone accepts us now, it's over, we can just live our lives. 

Then Orlando happened. We've been beaten, mocked, and murdered in America, but never with that kind of single-minded, calculated, and targeted hatred, and never on that kind of scale.

I hated that I had some reservations about going to Pride this year. I hated that they weren't because I still felt "done," but because I was afraid of what would happen if I attended as a member of my own community. I hated that I heard friends saying they weren't going because of those same fears. 

What I loved were the people who were there. 


My friends who had been planning to go for months, gay and straight, showed up. We stood silently together at the very beginning as the Orlando memorial passed by. We cheered for politicians, gay bars, animal shelters, and the LGBT organizations whose presence was a reminder of all the work they've done over the years to give us the legal rights we have today. We mostly just smiled and hugged and shouted greetings happily at strangers who passed by. 

It was the best Pride yet, and it's because of what is at the center of the LGBT movement, and what was therefore at the center of Pride Sunday: love.

Love is love is love is love, and while the parade must most certainly remain a gesture of defiance, that defiance is saying "We are here, we are visible, and we deserve to be loved and to love others." That is the radical statement of Pride. And we will show up year after year after year until that statement isn't seen as radical anymore. 

Happy Pride.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Harry Potter 2013 Readalong Signup Post of Amazingness and Jollity

Okay, people. Here it is. Where you sign up to read the entire Harry Potter series (or to reminisce fondly), starting January 2013, assuming we all survive the Mayan apocalypse. I don't think I'm even going to get to Tina and Bette's reunion on The L Word until after Christmas, so here's hopin'.


You guys know how this works. Sign up if you want to. If you're new to the blog, know that we are mostly not going to take this seriously. And when we do take it seriously, it's going to be all Monty Python quotes when we disagree on something like the other person's opinion on Draco Malfoy. So be prepared for your parents being likened to hamsters.

If you want to write lengthy, heartfelt essays, that is SWELL. But this is maybe not the readalong for you. It's gonna be more posts with this sort of thing:


We're starting Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone January 4th. Posts will be on Fridays. The first post will be some sort of hilarious/awesome que…

How to Build a Girl Introductory Post, which is full of wonderful things you probably want to read

Acclaimed (in England mostly) lady Caitlin Moran has a novel coming out. A NOVEL. Where before she has primarily stuck to essays. Curious as we obviously were about this, I and a group of bloggers are having a READALONG of said novel, probably rife with spoilers (maybe they don't really matter for this book, though, so you should totally still read my posts). This is all hosted/cared for/lovingly nursed to health by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) because she has a lovely fancy job at an actual bookshop (Odyssey Books, where you can in fact pre-order this book and then feel delightful about yourself for helping an independent store). Emily and I have negotiated the wonders of Sri Lankan cuisine and wandered the Javits Center together. Would that I could drink with her more often than I have.


INTRODUCTION-wise (I might've tipped back a little something this evening, thus the constant asides), I am Alice. I enjoy the Pleistocene era of megafauna and drinking Shirley Templ…

Yes, Frances Willard was as gay as Oscar Wilde. But in a lady-way.

Yup. We're gonna do it. We're gonna talk about Frances Willard and gayness. Look, it's not a major part of her life, and it's definitely not the main thing she should be remembered for, but the fact that a line is being put out that she was totally straight is complete hogwash and it upsets me.




The thing is, I get when people say it's anachronistic to put the cultural concept of "gayness" onto a person from a century other than the 20th/21st. I get that. And usually agree with it. But Frances Willard is one of the gayest people in history. I have zero problem labeling her with that. The fact that she didn't have the language to describe what she was experiencing is upsetting, but she managed to have a seemingly full and satisfying life anyway, so I am happy for her.

And for people annoyed when gay people say that someone from the past was gay, here's the thing: When you're completely whitewashed from history, it is a matter of TOTAL DELIGHT wh…