Earlier this week, President Obama proclaimed June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. It was a moment of celebration and one that instills hope and demands action. With depressing news of Prop. 8 and signs of progress in Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire, it’s no wonder that the LGBT community struggles with the constant emotional roller coaster for equal rights. To ease my emotions, I’ve opted to focus on one thing this month — conscious movement.
Pride is designated as the time we commemorate the events of Stonewall, the turning point of the LGBT rights movement. For me, Pride is the time to celebrate our successes in the past year (and we’ve had many) and remember that the fight for equality must continue. In a time of economic struggle, we, as a community, have banded together to make a lasting difference not only in our lives, but in the lives of others in our local areas and across the world. We’ve seen companies continue, if not increase, their commitment to the LGBT community, we celebrated Harvey Milk’s memory in the Oscar-winning film – Milk, and Rachel Maddow’s entrance into the MSNBC family, and recently we rejoiced as states supportted equal marriage rights. Since last June, there has been great progress in LGBT visibility worth celebrating.
This weekend marks the 31st anniversary of Kansas City’s Gay Pride. As Kansas Citians and Missouri State Senator, Jolie Justus, rally in support of LGBT rights and marriage equality, it’s refreshing and humbling to see my state and my community call for change. For all of us, our days are filled with coffee meetings, lunch meetings, meetings to prep for meetings, and so on. Many of us forget the courage needed take a stand and fight for change. Many of us, myself included, forget that outside of our walls, there is a child who needs help because he left home in fear of rejection or abuse, or a senior struggling with cancer who feels isolated and alone with no family to care for him. This year, Pride is my reminder of conscious movement – to be educated and aware of the struggles that exist in my community and to take a unified step toward progress to make a lasting difference in my community — for my LGBT family.
What does pride mean for you?