Friday, June 30, 2017

Pride is not about me

Typing words here every morning is a great exercise.  I've been able to mention a lot of wonderful acts which we all can do, offer suggestions (including ones which came from you), and spotlight people I consider heroes.  During LGBT Pride Month, I am looking only in that direction and I can recall the many leaders I have come in contact with other the years, some of whom I have already mentioned.  I have been involved in marches and protests and all manner of celebration, including volunteering for San Francisco Pride for many years and serving on their board of directors.  This blog is NOT about me of course, but I just wanted to give you some background on how I have had the privilege of meeting so many wonderful people.

Some of the LGBT leaders are folks I simply bumped into.  I remember marching for Marriage Equality, surrounded by a lot of folks I knew, but also meeting new people along the way.  This is a great way to network.  I always think that grass roots campaigns are so important because you can get everyone involved.

Sometimes people have reached out to me.  I can't tell you number of heart-warming stories I heard at Pride events.  Once a guy still in high school, had taken the bus to San Francisco on a June Sunday for the annual Pride Parade.  He came up to me and struck up a conversation, telling me that at home in Turlock, he felt all alone.  It wasn't a problem of bullying or harassment (fortunately), but simply one of loneliness.  He told me it was such a wonderful experience being in the presence of thousands of other lgbt people.  He thanked me, but it was I how should have thanked him.  That's the reason for doing these Pride events - so nobody has to feel alone.

I have no idea how many lgbt people read this blog, but a few years ago a reader posted the most encouraging comment I think I have ever received.  It said "Our only daughter is 22 yrs old, and happens to be straight. When she was little, she said she wanted a gay big brother. Not just a big brother, but specifically. Now she has many gay best friends, and spent last evening in the Castro, celebrating with them. That gay big brother, had he existed, would have come into a family that believes what this woman -- Glennon Melton -- wrote. THIS is a mountain I'm willing to die on." 

I'm one of the fortunate ones.  I have had and continue to have many lgbt friends and we have shared many positive experiences.  We have seen a lot of change, although I generally think it isn't coming fast enough.  Just like this blog is NOT about me (it's about us all, and our potential), Pride too is NOT about me.  It is an important experience though and I'm glad we have this.  Thanks to all the people and organizations I have written about during this Pride Month, and thanks to everyone who makes a difference.

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