Pride Links Us Together
Every year, all over the world, the LGBTI community has what some might call a “family reunion”. We all meet up for Pride, and sometime in the week leading up to the big day, we get our hair cut, go to the gym for our last set of ab crunches and make sure our outfits are fabulous so that we look our best for the “cousins” we see once a year. We celebrate in many ways around the world: we march, we protest, we host festivals or put on parades, but whatever it is we do, we call it Pride. For that one day, we are visible and proud and we welcome everybody to celebrate our community at our ‘reunion’.
No matter where you might be for Pride, you know that once you step into it, you’re a part of it. And if you’re not, you want to be. There is joy, love, laughter, acceptance and a sense of elation and wild abandon. For that one day, we don’t have to hide, we don’t have to be afraid and we don’t have to feel shame, for there are thousands and thousands of us standing together, united as one. It’s on this day that Pride links us together, wherever we are.
There’s a familiar and welcoming feeling when you arrive at Pride. It’s not just the leather men, gyrating twinks, colourful drag queens, sporty softball jocks, or topless women. There’s something in our spirits that’s visible to those who look past the party. It doesn’t show itself by waving a rainbow flag nor does it need to march. It’s the deep sense that we’re a family that’s journeyed here, and now we’re connected in celebration.
That’s what Pride does. Pride links us together as a community and says “we’re here” wherever we are. We may see a part of ourselves, even for a moment, in those who march in the parade, or in those who dance and celebrate. As they carry the rainbow flag through the crowds and down the streets or wave them at picnics, or fly them as kites, we claim this day as ours and we can proudly say, “I’m here! This is my community, my family, and I’m one of them.” For that one day at Pride, we proclaim that we’re united, in our understanding of one another and in our struggle for acceptance.
Next time you stand at the roadside and watch the dykes on bikes kick off the parade, the floats, the marchers, the boas, the boys and all the pageantry, be proud to know that this is our family. And, like all families, we may have our fights, our struggles, even our drunk aunts and our inappropriate uncles, but more than anything, we have each other. On this one day, we can put away our strife and join together because this is our day, our Pride, and through this, we are forever linked.
Wishing you all the best Pride and celebrations at WorldPride this year.
Caryl Dolinko & Gary Van Horn – Co-Presidents
Save the Date for InterPride 2012 in Boston!
Sign up for the 2012 conference in Boston and be a part of our history. Visit interpride2012.org to learn all about this year’s conference and what’s planned. Click here to register and reserve your room at the Sheraton.