Monday, June 23, 2014

The need for LGBT Pride

In case you hadn't noticed, heterosexual life is pervasive and permeates just about everything in our culture.  While things may be changing, especially in big cities, the anti-gay and anti-trans climate is still very present in so many places that people have to hide their identities.  Once a year at LGBT Pride Celebrations all over the world, people travel from smaller communities to be in a place where they don't have to hide - where, even if only for a few days, they can be themselves.
LGBT Pride celebrations provide a sense of community to people who have so often been isolated and outcast, even from their own families and they bring attention to political or social causes that are important to LGBT people.
Earlier this month, CNN contributor LZ Granderson wrote, "Gay Pride was not born out of a need to celebrate not being straight but our right to exist without prosecution."  Indeed.  How many places can you think of where someone will go to jail because they are heterosexual?  Where is someone likely to lose their job for being straight?  Think about it.
Does San Francisco still need gay pride?  Possibly not.  There does seem to be more freedom and more equality here than in so many places.  That is also another reason to keep doing these celebrations.  We can hold them up as an example to others.  Holding these celebrations also gives those in small towns and those who live in a place that lacks tolerance, a place to which they can escape.
Some say there is a "straight Pride" celebration every day of the year.  Ideally, we wouldn't have to use any labels.  Every day could be a celebration of who we are, including people who happen to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.  We're sadly not at that day yet in most of the world.

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