Is it OK to be PROUD in a pandemic?
The LGBTQ+ community made it through the HIV epidemic.
Is it OK to be PROUD during social unrest?
The community made it through the StonewalI Riots.
Is it OK to be PROUD through a rough election cycle?
The community put Barack Obama in office.
I assure you, the LGBTQ+ family has seen these obstacles before. The obstacles weren’t times to just be proud, but times that made us proud as a community. Faced with challenging times, the LGBTQ+ community relies on one major thing: EACH OTHER.
Granted, Pride 2020 won’t be your normal June event. Social distancing, masks and empty dance floors definitely make the hurdles a bit higher. No matter…the idea that Pride is found in a crowded bar or a multi-colored parade, really scratches the surface of its significance. Those pieces, those parts are the celebration of the advancements and accomplishments of the gay community. Pride is about accepting where we’ve been, and realizing how far we still can go.
Sure, we need the fun. We need to feel the heartbeats of those like us within a few feet, sharing their smiles, their songs & their beers. Not this year…this year, it’s time to do what this LGBTQ+ family is known for: CREATIVITY!
There are plenty of rumblings about on-line Drag Shows featuring some of our local favorites, just dying to wiggle their foam hips to raise money for our local gay charities. There are rumors of socially distanced get-togethers, 6 feet apart, but still good for laughs! There are some really great films and shows on streaming services that give every angle of the Pride Movement. There are restaurants and bars returning to life with waving rainbow flags to welcome the family in for food and drink. And anyone who knows Dayton knows that somewhere, sometime a pop-up party in parking lot is always possible…(hmmmm???) And for the purist gay pride person, a parade is being planned for late August, to make sure we all having something to look forward to….all of that sounds GAY and good!
So, what will you do to move the needle forward for June 2020? Come out to your family and friends? Read about Marsha P. Johnson? Get to know about our most recent fallen icon Larry Kramer? Share a zoom meeting with your families and tell them your favorite Pride story? Make high heel shaped cookies, and share the recipe on-line? Talk to the more mature gay set about Dayton His/Herstory? Visit the Stage Door for a drink in one of Ohio’s oldest gay bars? Find out info about Natalie Clifford Barney, honored in the park at our main library? Buy your loved one an obnoxious gay pride t-shirt, for the hell of it? Find ways to raise money for our transgendered brother and sisters in their on-going quest for equality? Support the plethora of Gay/Lesbian businesses and restaurants in the area? Teach your children about acceptance of all people? Learn more about Bayard Rustan….
Ok, ok. You get it. PRIDE is not the parade...it is the long walk together we make when we aren’t in feathers and leathers! It is the long walk we make hand-in-hand when the world tries to separate our mission and our vision! It is long walk we make through social unrest, political unease and even epidemics.
Be PROUD of your gayness….you were given an amazing gift….the gift of WHO YOU ARE!