Pride: The fight continues | Moment's Notice
Last updated 7/1/2023 at 5:22pm
“I am talking to my daughters about things I thought I would be telling them in the past tense, but it is still true today.” – Brandi Carlile
Sundays are good days.
We always start the day with a big Sunday breakfast, which has to take at least a half-hour to prepare to be worthy of a Sunday morning. There will likely be a trip to the beach with the dog.
But then later in the day, that is when I putter in the kitchen, listening to NPR or podcasts and looking up recipes for whatever produce I have in the refrigerator that must be used before it goes off. This Sunday included cherry pie filling, sofrito, sautéed chard for stuffed zucchini blossoms, and pepita pesto.
What guided my thoughts as I chopped and tossed and blended: First, some “Freakonomics” radio, then a few great stories on “The Moth Radio Hour,” and then a news update about the glorious day for the Pride parade in Seattle, as well as the horrible traffic that followed. A pretty typical Sunday.
And then it occurred to me how nice it was that our local media referred to the Pride parade in a straightforward manner, simply as a positive and established community event, with the banality of traffic problems as the only controversial part of the story.
Suddenly, though, the contentment with that acceptance of Pride in our community collided with the flood of memories that entered my mind.
My husband and I were in New York City when we heard the news of the Pulse Night Club shooting in Orlando. We sat in horror, watching the story of 49 dead and more than 50 injured as it unfolded on the hotel TV.
I remembered sitting with a high school friend, trying to work through the sadness and fear of his new reality of a father who became violently abusive to him once he came out.
I shared the sorrow with a young trans person I know whose whole family refused to include him in the family and even stopped acknowledging his existence.
There is much to celebrate during Pride month and also much to remember. Every June, Pride Month commemorates the years of struggle for civil rights and the ongoing pursuit of equal justice under the law for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community, as well as the accomplishments of LGBTQ individuals.
And the fight continues. There were still laws against homosexuality in 14 U.S. states as recently as 2003 (yes, in this century), until the Supreme Court struck them down as unconstitutional, and more than 400 anti-LGBTQ+ laws have been proposed in state legislatures just this year.
People have organized to fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States since 1924, but certain events on June 28, 1969, became the watershed moment that turned June into Pride Month.
On that day in New York City’s Greenwich Village, police raided a popular gathering place for young members of the LGBTQ community – The Stonewall Inn. The subsequent protests over the next six days spurred a shift in LGBTQ activism in the country.
For the four years prior to the Stonewall riots, activists in my hometown of Philadelphia had staged carefully constrained picket demonstrations outside Independence Hall on July 4 as “Annual Reminders” that gays and lesbians were being denied basic rights of citizenship.
After Stonewall, this group called for a procession to be held in New York City on June 28, 1970, the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots, along with other similar events planned around the country.
Pride came to be celebrated worldwide on the last Sunday in June, and what had started out as somber marches evolved into the joyous celebrations we are all familiar with today.
We still have one more chance here in South Snohomish County to stand in solidarity and recognition of our LGBTQ+ friends and family – see you at Pride in Edmonds on Friday, June 30, on Main Street in front of the Historical Museum.