I’ve always enjoyed the festivities of Gay Pride, which celebrates Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer or Questioning People, plus other people who identify in a broader array of identifying their sexuality. With the COVID19 Pandemic, the Boston Gay Pride celebration was cancelled. Before Gay Pride on June 13 got here, protesters were already in the streets protesting the Sheltering in Place orders in a variety of locations. And then, an horrendous act of murdering George Floyd in Minneapolis was televised for all to see. A white police officer killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck. In the video, I heard the man say he couldn’t breathe more than once, but the police officer never budged. The police officer choked the life out of George Floyd. Then, there were more protests around the death of George Floyd by outraged people of all races.
Some peaceful protests ended in riots and looting. Angst has spread throughout the nation. Then, when President Trump called in the army to clear away peaceful protesters (over the death of George Floyd). He sent the wrong message, due to his next act – a photo op in front of a church, one he has never attended.
So how do we celebrate LGBTQ+ in the wake of such violence in the streets and by the COVID19, which has disproportionately killed people of color, especially Black Americans? It is good to note that Gay Pride came out of riots in front of a gay bar, Stonewall, in New York City. The celebratory factors of Pride came out of violence. In history, we can see a pattern. Most countries celebrate their origins and like the United States of America that first had to fight for freedom; thus, the American Revolution. many other nations have their own wars that established their nation. We can deduce from this that many celebrations only come out of violent events.
If you cannot celebrate in the traditional way, you usually find another way. This year has been challenging, but remembering why we celebrate has helped. Belonging to a Unitarian Universalist Church also helps, because first and foremost, we honor the inherent worth and dignity of all beings.
The issues that need to be honored include: LGBTQ+ Individuals, which includes people of color, who are LGBTQ+; Black Lives Matter; systemic racism; healthcare inequities, especially mental health inequities (most insurance companies shy away from funding for mental health); police brutality; systemic poverty; and the inequity between the rich and poor, especially those who live well below the poverty line while working several jobs.
I created a story for our annual Pride service at FUSF.org with two other people, who also helped by being the voices of the two characters. I did the narration part. That video can be viewed at https://youtu.be/PvZ0ee4gAOw.
So celebrate Pride by remembering all the issues. Give money, donate your time or voice that honors the issues at hand. We, in America, have a long way to go to become a whole nation again. All people are human, so be a helping human!