Hey y'all. I hope your summers are off to a great start. And happy pride!
As you (hopefully) know, we celebrate the month of June as LGBTQ Pride Month. Why June, you ask? Contrary to popular belief, it's not because the sweltering heat gives the gay boys an excuse to take their shirts off (I kept my deep v-neck on, because I'm just modest like that). It's because 42 years, June 1969, a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, an underground gay bar in New York during a time when our queer forebears were victims of legal persecution, sparked violent demonstrations that we remember as the Stonewall Riots.
And so every June, we gather together in our towns and cities as a community to express our love, pride, and solidarity as LGBTQ folks and allies. Here in Conway, we've been celebrating Pride for eight years. Our Pride festivities are organized by a Stonewall survivor and his husband, John and Robert from the Pink House, true pillars of the central Arkansas gay community. There's a great crowd of Hendrix kids staying in Conway this summer, and today a bunch of us headed over to the Pink House to march in the parade and join in the festivities. The heat was outrageous, but we didn't really mind. (OK, I minded, but I'm just not used to this kind of heat/humidity!) I made cookies to share with any protesters we ran into (check out these posts on my personal tumblr for more about my decision to greet the protesters with love and compassion), but there weren't too many. Just one family who don't eat sugar but were happy to hand me a pamphlet. They didn't really want to chat, and that's fine. I hope they got felt like they did what they needed to do today.
There were a ton of people there to celebrate, though. It was really heart warming to see all our queer brothers and sisters (and straight allies!) who braved the heinous heat to celebrate who we are as a community. This year in Unity, we'll be exploring a lot more what it means when we call ourselves the/a queer community. For now, in honor of Pride, I'd like to hear from you, my dear Unity members (and friends). What do you celebrate about our community? What do you see in it that makes you proud? I can't entice you with delicious treats over the internet like I can in meetings, but I'm sure I can think of a special reward for any one who answers in the comments section of this blog.
Happy Pride, friends!
In love and solidarity,