This Pride Month, Remember Your First Time

Intersex-Inclusive Progress Pride Flag Waves in the Wind

As many years as I’ve lived here, I still love seeing the Pride flags marching down Market Street in San Francisco. Beautiful in the ever-blowing wind, they turn the city’s main boulevard into our boulevard.

They also help me remember just how hard we’ve fought to gain such a level of recognition and respect.

That’s especially on my mind this year because so much feels off-kilter,
even threatening, in this election year. It has ever since the avalanche of
anti-LGBTQ – mostly anti-trans – legislation began, and the Dobbs decision came down. And it’s only grown with today’s attacks on democracy’s very foundations.

Pride is here to stay

But let’s be clear: none of this will stifle Pride. Pride is much too powerful, much too enduring. Our entire movement arose out of pride, from our refusal to be silent and invisible any longer. Pride gave birth to Horizons Foundation itself back in 1980, because a few visionary people saw that pride meant taking care of one another.

Pride has driven thousands of fierce protests. It’s fueled thousands of splendid parties, because Pride lives even when the world seems arrayed against us. Pride helps us mourn our losses. Pride reminds us to celebrate our victories. Pride means knowing – feeling – that we are each part of something much larger and more powerful than any one of us alone – in the Bay Area and throughout the world.

This time, remember the first time

I imagine that for more than a few of us, you might have gone to the parade, maybe marched yourself, many times. Perhaps Pride season doesn’t seem to have the meaning it once did. Some of us may even grow jaded about the whole thing.

If that’s you, you might take a minute – maybe right now – to remember the first time you came to a Pride parade, in the Bay Area, or anywhere. If anything like my experience, it was deliriously exciting to be with so many other LGBTQ people – even more so to march out in the streets. That day, for me and I’m certain for millions of others, was transformative, and left me filled with new pride. On Pride Day 2024, countless people of all ages will have life-changing experiences.

Pride matters. Pride makes us who we are as a community. Pride will bear us through these off-kilter times. And Pride will always be what makes us – despite bumps along the road – unstoppable.