And Pride marches on

And Pride marches on

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Last weekend, the LGBTQIA-plus community witnessed a historic Pride parade as WorldPride took New York City by storm.

More than 4-million people attended the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, showing the world how many we are and what political power we may hold.

While it was a particularly important event in the USA, cities in other countries also held significant Pride celebrations.

In Cuba, despite a warning from the government, more than 100 people marched in an unauthorized Pride parade. São Paulo, Brazil, held one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world, also commemorating the anniversary of Stonewall. Toronto, Tel Aviv (the largest Pride parade in the Middle East), Ibiza, Shanghai, Zurich, Edinburgh, Helsinki, Mexico City, Madrid, Paris and many others joined in celebration.

Worldwide, as conservative far-right politicians continue to gain power — including Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, the Vox party in Spain, Le Pen’s National Rally, Italy’s Matteo Salvini and our own president — the LGBTQ population continues to grow and expand. Inaugural Pride festivals happen each and every year as existing Pride festivities grow.

With the writing on the wall that we will persist, legislatures and organizations continue to fight against our existence.

While in Philadelphia we’ve seen progress — like the opening of Project HOME’s Gloria Casarez Residence, new trans-inclusive healthcare practices and further acknowledgement by city officials — in Pennsylvania, the Fairness Act is still met with resistance despite Democratic state support.

Federally, rollbacks to transgender protections and Supreme Court decisions continue to challenge progress.

This year’s Pride celebrations should influence lawmakers to take another look at their constituency. The LGBTQ-plus community is more visible than ever, and growing. Last week’s Democratic presidential primary debate included an out gay man and many others who vocally and proudly supported the LGBTQ community.

Our community is no longer hidden. Queer and trans issues are no longer taboo on the main stage. A Pride event of 4 million — among which the grand marshals included QTPOC actors from the critically acclaimed and popular Netflix series “Pose” — speaks unprecedented volumes.

While legislation is halted, the LGBTQ community continues to gain footholds in media and within government. The Victory Fund reported that our community now has more elected officials in office than ever before. We are not disappearing, and it’s clear we’re not afraid.

We should all be proud in the aftermath of a record-breaking Pride Month. 

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