The Purpose of Pride

Tue. June 18, 2013 12:00 AM
by Bill Pritchard

What About Pride? My haven't we come far in the LGBT community! Just the other day, as I sat on the bus, I looked out the window and noticed two men holding hands downtown. That always makes me feel good. Although we have more work to do in the area of equality; we've got a lot to be proud of!

Is that what pride celebrations are about?

All over the world, we in the LGBT community produce some of the best parades. Each year, they seem to get bigger and better attended. The detail of the floats, the ornamentation of the outfits, and the celebrity Grand Marshalls; they all seem to get better and better.

Is that what pride celebrations are about?

Don't get me wrong, I love a celebration and party! I just wonder if we sometimes forget the reason for it. On the other side, many of us have fought long and hard to make who we are a normal party of society. Seems to me that pride celebrations and LGBT characters on television, are now part of everyday life.

Is that what pride celebrations are about?

Personal Pride: The more I think about Pride, the more I realize it's a personal experience. By virtue of my work, I will be involved in the parades, parties, and festivals. That's to be expected. What pride is to me, will be very different than the young person, who's perhaps not participated in any parade yet. Do you remember your first gay pride parade? Mine was in Seattle. I went with my then crush, Jon Chadwick. I don't know what I liked more; seeing all the people like me, or being with him. It was all so exciting.

Somehow, I think we forget that each person is looking at Pride differently. To that end, we can celebrate, knowing that we are free to do so.

Yesterday, Today, and Forever : As many of us know, there was once a day, we could not be ourselves or celebrate the LGBT community. Those occurrences seem less and less. We can be proud of that! The presence of the mainstream business and media in the LGBT community is at an all-time high. Recently, the folks at Chicago's 103.5 KISS FM asked my help in hosting them in their pride festivities. It was a fun opportunity to partner with allies of the community. I can be proud of that! With small steps, we seem to be winning the fight for equality. Each day, we hear about successes in cities, states, and countries; where it once was not found. You can be proud of that!

The day is approaching, where we will say, "Remember when" more than "why not". That is pride for all of us!

Happy Pride!