As we all know Pride this year was a bit different. So many of the things I was looking forward to were canceled. So many things I was never expecting to deal with. It has been an intense month, but overall it has been good. I have learned and grown in many ways.
I knew Pride was going to be different shortly after the pandemic hit and the parade was canceled. I was so looking forward to Pride this year. It was to be my first Pride out. I wanted to shine with all the pride I had. I wanted to support as many events as I could manage to get to. But none of that was going to happen.
Instead this year Pride went back to it’s roots.
The BLM protests and movement happening in June somehow felt so right. Pride is nothing if it is not a continued fight for justice and equality. PoC, like LGBT+, have been fighting for equality for hundreds of years.
I so wanted to join some of the protests, but due to health problems, I have chosen to support BLM in other ways. Like most, I knew PoC were not treated as equals, but I had no idea it is as bad as it is. When you read a few stories of injustice it is easy to think, ‘Oh that is the exception’. When you read one after the other, day after day, you wake up to the reality that this isn’t the exception.
I hope to believe there are some good cops out there, but after seeing weeks of videos of abuse it is quite clear the problem isn’t just ‘a few bad apples’. There is a serious problem with a system that is supposed to “Serve and Protect” when it’s members blatantly do the opposite without concern for reprisal. I don’t know what the answer is but we need a hell of a lot more than a band-aid approach to this. We need major changes to the laws that govern police conduct. We need major changes in police training. We need major changes to a system that is so broken it has let this happen.
And I am so proud this is happening during Pride because Pride is nothing if it is not a continued fight for justice and equality. And I will continue to fight for everyone’s equality.
With all of this going on it has been a VERY intense month. It hurt so bad not being able to go to the protests. I felt like I was denying my very essence. It hurt so much hearing all of the stories of abuse and racism. I wanted to hold each one of the hurting people and try to make it better.
Make it better, this was a month of feeling the pain of the privilege I have had. I don’t feel it is wrong for me to have the opportunities I have but it is so very wrong when all do not have those opportunities. It is like walking in a dry hot desert with a full canteen of water and looking at hundreds with no water at all. How can your heart not cry for them? But I don’t have enough water for all of them. But there are those that do. Why doesn’t everyone have a full canteen?
I have had other moments of awakening to the privileges I have lived with. I have had other time of crying for those that don’t have. But this has been a month full of such moments. At times I felt like I was being ripped apart. But I am learning too.
I am learning how broken our world is. I am learning that as much as I want to, I can’t fix it all. But I am learning that I can help. I can do my part to move humanity on the path of slowly becoming a bit more human.
June is almost over, but we are far from done. All of the protesting has raised public awareness and some politicians are slowly starting to consider changes. But considering is not enough. We must continue.
This was the year that all who missed actually being at Stonewall got to learn what it is all about. We celebrate our successes, as we should but at the core, Pride is a protest a riot a movement for equality. This year we got a big wake up call, there is no equality until we all have equality.