Pride Month is a time for us to recognize, make visible, and celebrate the deep diversity of human beings and the multitude of our sexual orientations and gender identities. It is a time for joy, celebration, and for renewed energy to take on the challenges, systemic barriers and bigotry that continues to limit, attack, and oppress Queer communities globally.
Collectively, we all have work to do to dismantle these barriers and resist the forces of bigotry in each of our respective communities.
Pride Month is also a reminder of what each of us can do each and every day of every month to be active participants in the creation of more equitable and inclusive communities.
It is a reminder for me to be do my part as a heterosexual, cis-gender man to center my energy and attention to create space for Queer folks and communities in my life to experience true JOY, LOVE, and SOLIDARITY.
It is a reminder for me to visibly support the LGBTQIA centers in my local community, to highlight their work, to offer financial support for their projects, and to advocate for the legislative efforts they are advancing.
It is a reminder to support and be there for former and present professional colleagues, many who have endured traumatic homophobic and transphobic experiences in their careers.
It is a reminder for me to create moments of joy for my neighbors, who have shared conversations with me over the backyard fence and have seen my kids grow up into adulthood.
It is a reminder for me to be inclusive in my use of language and in properly addressing people in my life by their names, not their dead names.
It is a reminder for me to continue to work to dismantle toxic masculinity and the harmful effects of this societal construct.
It is a reminder for me to visibly display my advocacy for Queer causes and then back it up with action.
It is a reminder for me to continue to support my former students, many of whom I continue to stay in touch with, and to be there for them to support their own professional and personal paths in life.
It is a reminder for me to be a powerful ally for LGBTQIA communities in the professional work I produce, both as a full time professional in the work I do globally as a representative of MSM Global Consulting, and in the work I do locally with my organization, Bridges 4 Justice.
It is a reminder to be an example of how to be a Queer ally for my family and for my children as they now reach adulthood and begin to influence their circles of friends, work colleagues, and university classmates.
And, it is a reminder for me to be ever present as a father of a lesbian daughter who is my PRIDE and JOY! It is a promise I make to her each and every day, as her dad, to love her unconditionally, to be there to help her navigate an often hostile world, and the have the audacity to see the beauty in the world so she may live authentically, enthusiastically, and unabashedly,
So no matter how much certain governors try to legislate hate in their states, no matter how many influential pastors advocate hate from the pulpit, no matter how many bigoted folks continue to dehumanize Trans and Nonbinary folks, we will persist, we will resist, and we will do so, while still making time to experience JOY and LOVE in SOLIDARITY with so many of us who know that LOVE is LOVE.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to meet with my daughter to plan our trip to the Chicago Pride parade at the end of June. Happy PRIDE y’all!