It’s Pride month once again, and celebrations large and small are being held all over the country. Not only is it a chance to show support for what we believe, but it also gives others the opportunity to see just how large, diverse and really great our community is.
I can still remember attending my first Pride in San Francisco while working for Girlfriends magazine. I had only recently come out and was still relatively new to the area. The thought of having to work a booth and be publicly out was a huge deal for me. Little did I know that it would also be a pivotal moment. Having to interact with other people in the community and experiencing the event itself left a lasting impression and helped shaped who I would become.
To this day I still get excited when Pride rolls around. There’s something about being a part of the celebration and talking with so many people that makes me happy.
Miami’s incredibly popular Gay Pride was held in April, with thousands in attendance. This was Palette’s second participation, and it was great to see so many faces — young and old — roaming the streets. In a time when the LGBTQ community still faces many disparity issues, it fills me with hope to see so many people come out and show their support.
This year, we celebrate our unity as well as the news that President Obama has approved a proposal to designate the iconic Stonewall Inn as a national monument. It would be the first such monument honoring the history of the LGBTQ movement in the U.S., something that is long overdue. That’s just one more thing we can celebrate at Wilton Manors Stonewall on June 18.
We can also take the opportunity to celebrate the overturning of oppressive and archaic efforts. Officials in Mississippi failed to appeal a ruling that found banning same-sex adoption unconstitutional. A year after marriage equality, adoption by same-sex couples is now legal in all 50 states — I guess this means the honeymoon is over!
Even with all the positive steps we’ve taken, we can’t forget that anti-LGBTQ efforts are constantly being made. Transgender rights to public bathroom usage continue to be an issue in places like North Carolina and Mississippi. And yet, even as the debate rages on, there’s plenty to feel good about when companies such as Starbucks, Hudson’s Bay Company (parent company to Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue) and Barnes & Noble join Target to show their support for transgender rights.
I hope everyone goes out and celebrates Pride the best way they know how. And I encourage you all to keep the fight going long after the parades have ended.