Happy Pride! I can still remember my first pride, 19 years ago in Atlanta on June 29th 2003. It was all so new to me, so much to take in.
The sponsors were there, from Delta to Coca Cola. It felt so affirming to see the support and to see so many people just like me. For me, one person really stood out. A drag queen, with a beard, and the hairiest legs you could image on a feminine silhouette. The big willow hat, the white sunglasses, contrasted against the rosy pink cheeks and bright red lips. I didn’t realize it then but this person was being their fabulous unique self and it was so great just to see them included. I sent the picture I took to my father with the joke attached, “This is me in 10 years!” He never responded, so I doubt he saw the humour. I may not have gone down the path of Conchita Wurst before her time, but I certainly did become comfortable in my own skin.
It was the year the United States Supreme Court ruled that sex could not be criminalized between consenting adults. So of course Lambda Legal made signs that said, “You make love, we make it legal.”
Of course now the court is more than likely just days away from stripping away the foundation of privacy with a ruling rumoured to take away abortion rights.
So Pride is even more important than ever. To stand up for freedom, to stand for our right to be loud and proud but also that right of privacy. That who we have sex with or how we have sex is nobody’s business but our own. So when we march it certainly is about creating inclusion. However, we are not asking for you to accept us, we are marching for us to accept ourselves. That is Pride 2022.