Just a few short years ago, the LGBT community could take a long, well-deserved, beautiful break from activism. Americans had finally won marriage equality, a major milestone in the movement. Most of us knew that marriage equality would not be the be-all and end-all of our centuries-long struggle. Still, the Supreme Court win granted us some breathing room.
Those of us who are LGBT seniors knew that the celebration would be short, and the building backlash from our adversaries would be ugly and nasty. Queer folks who don’t live in places like New York, San Francisco, or other gay-friendly places have not enjoyed the full benefits of living in a supposedly free country. So we’re strong and ready for the coming assault on our community’s civil rights.
“I’d choose hell over a homophobic heaven”–Desmond Tutu
Acceptance of one’s gay qualities is a unique, character building experience that gay folks can accept or postpone indefinitely. When your biologically rooted personality or orientation is condemned by religionists, opportunistic politicians, social institutions, the media, and your own family, you learn to be dishonest about who you are.
The day you decide not to be dishonest about your identity is the day you are reborn. A sense of something akin to positive self-esteem blends with self-acceptance into a state of mind called “LGBT Pride”.
The choice of the word “pride” takes some getting used to. Culturally, people think of the negative definitions of pride being synonymous with “conceited”, “ostentatious displays”, “hubris”. We tend to forget there are other dictionary definitions of pride, as well. The one that is germane to this discussion is, “a reasonable or justifiable self-respect”. An everyday example of this definition might be, “Getting a regular job again, gave him back his pride.”
If I was on the committee that drafted the mythical “gay agenda” I would have chosen a different word than pride, but the term was informally adopted long before I could have a democratic say about it. Be that as it may, I accept the name of the concept. It’s just something we own. Our community likes it so well, that we’ve dedicated the entire month of June each year to celebrate it.
“The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.”–journalist Anderson Cooper
Although I see the world and the LGBT community through the subjective lens of a gay man, doesn’t mean I don’t feel affinity and care for lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders, and other queer-identified folks. Part of the beauty of fully accepting myself is being able and willing to relate to other minorities. This is not an automatic feature of being LGBT, because there are plenty of us who are less than open-minded about other people.
“Anybody can be unhappy. We can all be hurt. You don’t have to be poor to need something or somebody. Rednecks, hippies, misfits–we’re all the same. Gay or straight? So what? It doesn’t matter to me. We have to be concerned about other people, regardless.”–Willie Nelson
I could go on and on about LGBT Pride in this little essay, but my LGBT readers already get the point of Pride. So do my friends, allies, and patient, forgiving straight readers.
I just want to wish everyone, “Happy Pride Month”.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes the iconic LGBT civil rights activist Harvey Milk. “The first gay people we elect must be strong. They must not be content to sit in the back of the bus. They must not be content to accept pablum. They must be above wheeling and dealing.”
I hope you have a wonderful month. I am not gay myself, actually for “my kind” there is no special day or month. All I know is my parents raised me right. I don’t care what a person’s race, religion, sex orientation or nationality someone is. With all the discontent around the world, I feel lucky to be quite peaceful inside and hope you, my friend feel the same.
Thank you for being an ally.
I simply insist on treating people the way they treat me.
Happy Pride Month Honey 🌈❤️🧡💛💚💙💜💖 I’m apart of the community and always here if you wish to talk!! 💙💜💖