Pride With a Capital “P”
A couple of weeks ago, I came up from BART in downtown San Francisco and there they were: the rainbow flags that line Market Street every year, flying from the Embarcadero to the Castro. No matter how many years they’ve gone up, it’s always beautiful and always inspiring.
No hyperbole: we’re under attack.
Truth is, we could all use a little inspiration right now. Because we are under attack. I don’t write that lightly, as phrases like “under attack” can be used so often as to lose meaning when genuine crisis appears. Besides, I’m just constitutionally averse to hyperbole.
This is no hyperbole. With more than 500 pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation introduced in statehouses – and more than 75 passed into laws – our movement faces a crisis. We are under attack, especially the transgender community, the primary target of so many of these pieces of legislation. It’s not just a legislative tsunami either. Our opponents want to ban books, stifle students, restrict health care, and much more. And even though much of the action today goes after transgender people, it would be delusional to think they’ll stop there. They want every single one of us – L, G, B, T, Q, and “+” – back in the closet, to be neither heard from nor seen.
What do we do? We do what we’ve always done: rise to meet falsehoods and scare-mongering with truth, unbending resolve, and everyday heroism. That means we give. We volunteer. We come out. We march. We tell the truth about our lives.
Pride is action
And that brings me back to Pride. Pride – our Pride, the kind with a capital “P” – isn’t a state of being. There’s nothing wrong with being proud about being LGBTQ, of course. We deserve to be. But our Pride is action. That’s what’s always pulled us through. Pride powered our defeat of the odious Briggs Initiative in the 70s. It gave us courage in the darkest depths of AIDS. It’s fueled countless victories in courtrooms and statehouses, in big cities and small towns.
Pride doesn’t act alone. Love and often anger – to name just two other fierce drivers – have fueled us as well. But Pride must be there – always – or else we’d never have stood a chance.
It’s that Pride that today requires. It’s what we must ground ourselves in to answer this again-historic moment. This Pride – June 2023’s – needs to mean action more than any in recent years. Action can take a hundred forms. One would be to support LGBTQ organizations fighting every day in some of the “front-line” states (more information below). You can support any of hundreds of queer nonprofits through
Horizons’ Give OUT Day on June 28 (giveoutday.org). You can march, you can volunteer for a local LGBTQ nonprofit.
We will get through this moment. I know we will. Our Pride makes that sure.
PS: Among many groups doing excellent work in “front-line” states are Equality Florida (eqfl.org), Georgia Equality (georgiaequality.org), Equality Texas (equalitytexas.org), and the National Center for Transgender Equality (transequality.org)