What does the importance of Pride mean? How does it relate to us, each and everyone? Sure each of us could argue if it is needed or why it is, but the truth is in the climate we are currently in, Pride is what will keep us together and show our strength. So much of this country’s government is hell bent on tearing us apart and taking away our liberties that if we don’t stand in solidarity and pride, we will lose every bit of ground we have claimed over the last fifty years.
Equalityohio.org recently posted an article about a local Ohio House of Representative that forced a library into cancelling a Pride month event that was to be held at their location. The library, itself, did not organize or fund the event, it was privately funded and only asked to be held at the community library. Speaker Larry Householder stated “Let me be crystal clear: this isn’t about banning books, banning thought, or any other red herring argument.” His tweet showing the letter he sent can be found here on Twitter. In fact, this is a direct assault on freedom of speech, the same freedom that many of the right wing republicans claim is being walked over when we ask to be served at bakeries or stores that would deny us service. It is nice to know that they ask for freedoms that they, themselves, do not afford to those they deem less worthy. Speaker Householder ended his statement by saying “I expect this to end immediately.”
The event was to hold an information LGBTQ educational session for community youth, including a safe sex presentation and a drag make up tutorial. We live in a country where there are maybe a handful of states that will allow schools to teach LGBTQ history. Fewer schools that address sexual education for LGBTQ youth. These are important topics, especially as the cases of HIV are starting to rise among LGBTQ people again. Sure, it can be argues that sex ed iis a hard topic for most parents to handle for their kids, but it is still a needed lesson. Sex ed goes much further than just simply talking about sex, it also instill boundary setting and consent seeking behaviors. These are things that are overlooked and lead to prevention of sexual assault. Sex is very different for LGBTQ people than it is our heterosexual counterparts and since the majority of LGBTQ youth are born to heterosexual parents, who will be there to teach them those important facts
Then we are confronted with the Alabama mayor who advocate the killing of out LGBT people and you can find the story here on Joe My God. Carbon HIll mayor Mark Chambers recently posted on Facebook in all capital letters ““WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY WHERE HOMOSEXUALS LECTURE US ON MORALS, TRANSVESTITES LECTURE US ON HUMAN BIOLOGY, BABY KILLERS LECTURE US ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND SOCIALISTS LECTURE US ON ECONOMICS.” After facing strong criticism over his post, one of his friends posted “By giving the minority more rights than the majority. I hate to think of the country my grandkids will live in unless somehow we change and I think that will take a revolution.” Chambers responded by replying “The only way to change it would be to kill the problem out. I know it’s bad to say but without killing them out there’s no way to fix it.” We have already seen how comments made by Donald Trump as responded with groups of people carrying out heinous acts of violence. With a mayor saying this, how long will it be before a rise in murder against the LGBTQ community starts to rise?
When confronted in a phone call about his post, Chambers denied it and hung up. Later he called back to the person and admitted that he wrote it but it was taken out of context. He said it was meant for a friend and was speaking about a revolution. Shortly after speaking to the reporter, Chambers Facebook account went private.When will we, as citizens of this country, start holding the people who make the allegations accountable for their words. There is a point in which free speech changes over to treasonous remarks or words that instigate violence and hate speech. When the words of public officials lead people to act out in violence towards minorities, they should be charged the same way as those doing the harm, as an accessory to the crime
Even in our own city, we still see the violence associated with minorities. June first was Pride in the CLE and a vendor selling Pride items attacked a 33-year-old woman, knocking her unconscious in front of her wife and five kids. Theo Bishop attacked Michelle Trickey over the price of pride bracelets and flags for her children. The attack caused a skull fracture, broken nose and jaw. Trickey was only worried over the impact it would have on her wife and children, ages 14-17. In an interview she said “the kids are freaked out.” She fears her children will have a hard time ever going to a public event like this again. The end result was that Bishop was charged with felonious assault and bond set at $5000. This verdict is reminescent of a recent murder of a transgender woman of color by her mothers boyfriend.
We have a president who sits on his throne spewing forth contemptuous words of how he supports the LGBTQ community and is working to eradicate the bigotry world wide, when in our own home he passes laws that prevents trans people from serving openly in the military. Pushes for healthcare reform that will allow physicians to deny healthcare to LGBTQ people under the guise of religious freedom. And is actively working on rolling back any kind of protection status for LGBTQ people in jobs, housing, and public services. But he claims to be fighting for our common good?
These are the reasons that pride is or should be important to our community. If we do not stand up for ourselves and resist against the actions being visited upon us, no one will. We have to be the strength we need and the role models for the coming generations. We should be laying our differences aside and working together, not tearing the individuals of our community down. Which side will you be on? Will you stand by while we are reduced to lower than we have ever been? Will you watch as those who would do us harm are destroy us or will you rise up? You are the only one that can make that choice.