Year after year, Pride — as we know it — evolves and changes.
Activists work for more inclusion; corporations cozy up to the LGBTQ community for a few days in June; alternative prides take root, providing safer spaces for QTPOC, trans, nonbinary and neurodivergent folks.
Our flag evolves, finally.
Previously reserved for large cities, smaller locales and rural areas hold their first or second annual Pride. Attendees are younger and younger and grandparents are more supportive.
Protesters remain and counterprotesters organize flash mobs or hold signs to alleviate the presence of hate. Pride continues.
Every year, discussions on the importance of Pride and debates surrounding its limitations are held. These discussions are emotional, personal, societal, heated and empathetic.
This discourse best represents the LGBTQIA-plus community. We are politically engaged and passionate. We care about our future, and we also study (and should study more) our history. We disagree because we are invested, and our disagreements propel us.
Pride certainly continues to represent our fight against larger society and the bigotry faced. But we’ve also reached a place in our history that allows us to be in conversation with one another.
With many rights now accomplished and some protections in place, as we continue the fight for more, we also are afforded the privilege to see who has the majority of those protections and who does not. And then we can better focus our future efforts.
Not all in the LGBTQ community have equal rights — and equity is a word we ought to say more.
Let’s look at resources and how they are distributed among us.
At PGN, we have reported on a lack of resources for rural LGBTQ folks, the continuous murders of transwomen of color, bullying in schools that affects a vulnerable youth, the underrepresentation of queer people of color and the systemic and physical violence QTPOC face, LGBTQ homelessness and poverty, the silencing of those in our community living with disabilities, femme invisibility, transfemme safety or lack thereof, ageism, living poz and access to PrEP and HIV/AIDS healthcare, among others.
We, as a community, know which groups are most marginalized.
As Pride evolves and our rights evolve — as our ideas about gender evolve, so must our politic. We are not the first generations nor will we be the last to disagree. Passionate discourse created the progress we have already seen: those radicals who wanted to be out, not closeted, who wanted trans inclusion, not erasure; those who believed that we each had the right to self-identify.
Likewise, it is discourse that will move us forward, into a world we can’t yet fathom — as long as we listen. n\