The brave women and men who lost their lives and homes because of who they were and who they refused to be would be less than thrilled regarding our current version of “Pride”.
Beaten,jailed and living in constant fear of death and the destruction of your life tends to make you jumpy.
A major way to honor those powerful and defiant GLTBQ Elders who created their lives prior to any organized movement is to honor their lives and sacrifices. Sharing, questioning and examining someone’s life story is a way to simultaneously honor them and teach respect and dignity to a younger generation of folks.
Why not take a day and interview folks about our cultural heroes.
How many folks young and old can recognize Bayard Rustin from a photograph and tell you what he did ?
How many young folk know the significance of James Baldwin and the balls it took to speak out about human/black/gay rights in the fifties and be hunted and harassed by the government for doing this ?
These lessons and insight are not being lauded and introduced and studied in any school curriculum that I know of and yet we are shocked and taken aback by the epidemic that is gay youth suicide.
Why is there not a time of teaching and quiet reflection that every revolution requires.
Falling in love with yourself and refusing to be silent and go away and be anything less than sublime is all about being a revolutionary.
Why not dedicate some time to studying and discussing the work of :James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Essex Hemphill, Barbara Jordan and any and all people who have lent their support and voice to the true fight and movement that is equality ?
This group of wonderful persons would not be begging anybody for their rights they would be unapologetically taking them and not feeling bad about it.
Where are these type of leaders ?
Why are we not including a huge chunk of history among the pageantry, cocktails, loud music and dancing ?
Could we hold teach-ins at local bars before the festivities and loud music takes over ?
How about offering a pre and post Pride celebration set of study guides and videos ?
What are your suggestions for adding some real Pride (history) to our celebrations ?