Why have Gay Pride parades? After all, there are no Straight Pride parades (except for one that they're having in Boston as a response to the Gay Pride parade and I don't think that counts). I don't go around announcing to people that I'm straight. Except that I do. I wear a wedding ring. I talk about my amazing children all the time. And I don't worry about anyone hurting me because I'm straight. I'm accepted in mainstream society because I'm heterosexual.
One of my children is bisexual. They could probably pass for straight if she dated men. But, they're also genderqueer and dresses androgynously most of the time. They're sexuality is not something that is completely hidden. Another of my children is a lesbian and is married to a woman. That is again, something that is obvious to anyone who sees them.
With all the homophobia in our world, these two children of mine are in danger. No! you say. Not in 2019! But, check out this story from Alabama. A mayor talked about killing LGBTQ folks. In 2019. In Dallas alone, 3 transgender women have been murdered this year. People, our LGBTQ friends and family are in danger!
Pride was started in 1970, the year after the Stonewall Riots. The Wiki article is a good place to get started on the history of the Stonewall Inn and the raid and riots during June of 1969. Since that time, Pride has been extended to the entire month of June.
Pride is a chance not for the gay community not to be proud of how they were born, but to celebrate their right to exist. They have been on the fringes of society for far too long, but the are gradually making strides to becoming more open and accepted. One meme talks about the author being proud of no longer being afraid, of having given up loneliness and depression and anger.
Pride is a chance to normalize LGBTQ people into society. As this happens, it will become less acceptable to do bizarre things like talk about killing them or, worse, actually killing them like the Pulse Massacre in Orlando. Pride shows the larger community that LGBTQ people are just your friends and neighbors. They live next door. They work for the same company. They share the same parks and recreational facilities. Maybe they have kids. Maybe they are married, in a relationship, or single. Just like the rest of the world. They are just people. Just like heterosexuals.
Pride gives the rest of us a chance to be loud and obnoxious about loving our families. Loving everything about our families. Even the gay, lesbian, bisexual, gender non-conforming part of our family. And we do this not just because we love them but because we know that if you got to know them, all of them, you'd probably like or love them, too.
And Pride is about free speech and freedom of association and those lovely First Amendment rights. Pride is showing that the LGBTQ community is here and isn't going away and knows that they have the right to free speech and free assembly. They have the right to exist in our society. And they are working to obtain the rest of their civil rights - to hold a job in all states, to be a foster or adoptive parent, etc.
So, use this month to stand up for your LGBTQ friends and neighbors. And if you don't know any of your friends and family are LGBTQ, get to know them better, because they are! It's the Jesus-like thing to do!