June 12, 2017
Today marks a year since the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando. Last night I attended a candlelight march and service in honor of the 49 individuals who lost their lives. Seeing first hand everyone come together was the breath of fresh air I didn’t realize I needed. LGBT folk always have been kind of a “get knocked down 3, stand up 4” type of community. I’m honored to be part of such a BRAVE and strong group of people.
*WHY DO WE HAVE PRIDE PARADES?*
I can imagine some people rightfully have this question so I just wanted to take a moment and explain why this whole Pride thing goes on. To sum it up.. we march to be visible – to be visible for ourselves, for those who can’t be here and for those who marched before us.
In my heart, it’s the utter most importance to show recognition to the LGBT elders who came before us. Those who stood up.. who came out.. and who faced the backlash to give us a voice. I’m so thankful for the older generation who made it much easier for me. I hope now with my presence to make it easier for our children’s generations to come.
Secondly, Pride for me is the ultimate sign of HOPE. This is of course in regards to the millions still in the “closet” who are facing that scary *yet liberating aka best thing ever* event that we all have to face. I used to sneak down to the parades and look at the people in the crowd hoping one day I would have courage to be like them. Pride gave me hope to come out and sense that I was not alone. Suicide amongst LBGT teens is FOUR times higher than heterosexual. Four. This is our plea to let them know they’re not alone. Pride made me believe that it actually would get better and basically to fuck it and to own it. It taught me how to love myself.
Lastly, we come together to help give a voice to those who can’t speak up for themselves. It is our goal to bring to light issues and make them more public. Heightened awareness leads to quicker action. Anyways, that’s just my reasoning for Pride.. I think it means something personal and unique to everyone individually.
As for last night, I have gained a sense of closure on the Orlando shooting bc last year processing this while overseas was nearly unbearable. Last night, as a group we honored the 49 as each one of their names were read aloud. Next we marched 2 miles down to the heart of the “Gayborhood” on Cedar Springs. When we arrived, 49 people stood in front of the crowd, each holding a sign with one of the names of the victims. We had a beautiful guest speaker and at the end he told us to “go out tonight and dance for those who can’t.” So we did just that. We wiped our tears, hugged one another and made it way to the bars. It’s nice to be able to mourn as a group and put some of this anger to rest. An incredible sight to see all these people come together not only in Dallas, but across the States – Yet again, love and beauty prevails. It always has.. always will..
Thanks for reading.