Sunday, June 30, 2013


It’s Pride here in New York today.

Every year from certain quarters—online and in real life—I listen to gay men grouse about this annual celebration. I’ve written before about how they point at photos of drag queens and shirtless twinks with outrageous hair and complain, “Why should I be proud of that?”

Maybe you’re not proud of flamboyance. Be proud of this: be proud (if you can) that you live in a society in which you’re not arrested simply for showing up to a Pride parade, and that our fierce feminine brothers can express themselves freely without being arrested for ‘gay propaganda.’

Be proud you live in a country that allows gay demonstrations of all stripes, from the simple and unorganized to the vast and corporate sponsored—because there are many in which such a thing would be squelched and the participants incarcerated, if not killed.

Be proud you live in a country in which being gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgendered or what-have-you is now legal. It wasn’t always.

If you live in a country or a state in which marriage equality has been established, be proud of that. If you don’t, be proud that year by year, state by state, the movement is coming your way.

Be proud that DOMA was defanged. Be proud that California is once again allowing same-sex marriages. In other words, even as you stay aware that there’s much left to do, be proud of the progress that we have made and that we will continue to make.

And maybe even most of all, be proud of the fact that in spite of setbacks, in spite of selfishness and fear and the irrational hate of others, we have made progress—and will continue to do so.

Be proud of yourself. No matter whom you love, you’re part of a rich and beautiful tapestry of humanity. And that is worth celebrating.


  1. I think some forget to easily how it wasn't all that long ago that any demonstration would have been illegal.
    After living in Singapore(which I loved) its still illegal, which is a shame because there is a large gay community there.
    I feel blessed that my youngest won't have to remember a time that it wasn't legal for her to marry her girlfriend.

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  3. steve in vancouverJune 30, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    Well said! How we so easily forget that it was the those on the fringes that fought so hard and openly for the rights we take for granted today. If we have learned anything we should embrace our entire culture and encourage each person to be their authentic self. We are so much stronger if we embrace our rich tapestry and support our diversity instead of trying to squelch those whom we may not understand. Does not everyone deserve to live of life of fulfillment and happiness?

  4. Could not agree more! I've always loved the Pride festivals and found it unfortunate that the media only focused on the more "festive" side of our community. I've never looked down on them or felt any contempt and I'm not sure why others in our community do. Celebrate all of it because some can't celebrate any of it.

  5. It's Pride weekend in San Francisco and wedding vows are being exchanged left and right. But naturally there are those that tried to stop it (again) but got shot down when a U.S. Supreme Court justice today reject a long-shot big to halt same-gender marriages in California.

    The newspaper is full of positive stores on all this. Young people need to remember that not all that long ago, everyone was in the closet because you couldn't come out.

  6. Hear, hear! Well said. You do write very well. And with verve.
    Thank you

  7. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!