If there was no prejudice against LGBTQ people, we wouldn’t need to hold Pride parades all over the world during Pride month in June.

We would be part of every day “straight pride”, which is the freedom to walk out and about without ever having the concern about your gender or sexual identity coming into question.

Protests change in size, meaning, and voracity.

To celebrate Pride – to revel openly as who we are, in public out on the streets, holding hands with the person we love, kissing our same-sex partner, making out with our trans lover, dancing in the ecstasy of the freedom of a single day surrounded by our “people” – is not only an act of celebration, but a public display and affirmation that we are here, we are queer, and we require/desire the same rights and freedoms as everyone else.

That in itself is a powerful statement, and while most large North American Pride celebrations might not look like a protest, I argue that they are – albeit for the most part peaceful and celebratory. Pride make a statement about the state of LGBTQ people because of its very existence.

How do we reclaim what Pride originally stood for?

The Reclaim Pride Coalition answered that vital question with an alternative march to this year’s Stonewall50 and World Pride Parade in New York City, June 2019. According to their “Why We March” statement,

“We March in our communities’ tradition of resistance against police, state, and societal oppression, a tradition that is epitomized and symbolized by the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion.”

In episode 89, I shared Why Black Lives Matters was right, that uniformed police have no place at Pride, because of the history of violence and oppression by police forces against our community that is visually represented and triggered by the uniform.

On the question of the commercialization of Pride – something I discussed with Jeffry Iovannone in, “Deconstructing the Myth of Stonewall and its Influence on Mainstream Society – LOP091” – the Reclaim Pride Coalition continues with,

“We March against the exploitation of our communities for profit and against corporate and state pinkwashing, as displayed in Pride celebrations worldwide, including the NYC Pride Parade.”

“Denial of equality is immoral.”

As queer people we need to work together for the rights of all – against ideologies, restrictive and fundamentalist religions, racism, sexism, and all forms of prejudice. What hurts us, hurts other, and vice versa. Equality for some is not equality at all.

When we celebrate, we marginalize.

There will always be someone left our of our Pride celebrations. When we celebrate, without historical memory of where Pride came from, we risk marginalizing members of our LGTBQ collective. As much freedom as we feel we may have gained, we still don’t have humane rights for all – we only have human rights, which can be taken away by whoever is in power.

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

Wayne dyer

Know your history. Know why you chose to celebrate or party. Is it time for you to stand up and reclaim your pride?

Resources

Image credit: Mary Crandall

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