From an LGBTQIA member on their first Pride experience post-Pride.
Photo by Kirsten Heinetz
I didn't know what I was expecting... My prince charming to emerge, a drag queen to call me out, everyone treating me differently like it was my special day. I was nervous, excited, and didn't know what to expect. The thing was, it was nothing like I predicted, and yet everything I needed.
While some grew angry that this year's Pride in Boise stopped allowing everyone to march (which was customary, but instead took sponsors and set groups ) I was thankful. For once I felt the option and ability to blend in. I was also thankful this allowed for an, even more, epic festival (where you could drink and there was live music) next to the Capitol and events including a late night block party.
I felt normal; for the first time in forever, I didn't feel I had to worry about the potential of being ostracized or causing conflict because of who I am, I felt like I belonged in the community. Like I had a right to be there. I dared to wonder if instead of being doomed because of my sexuality it was something special to be cherished.
I was glad at how inclusive it was, anyone with love in their heart or curiosity at the LGBTQIA seemed to be welcome. Rainbows were everywhere. One thing I wanted was the ability to identify people that are LGBTQIA as compared to allies. I was happy to see everyone, but who were my brothers and sisters in arms? I wanted to have the chance to flirt with boys without worry they could only be into girls, to congratulate others on our holiday.
I was, again, thankful for the many sponsors and business that made Pride such a great experience and that featured something special for Pride. I could not help but wonder though: what were these sponsors and business truly doing for the LGBTQIA community? (And maybe they were doing more)
While we've had amazing progress, there is still so much more to do in the fight for equality for the rainbow community. The fight isn't over, globally, nationally, locally. I'm painfully aware of that, unable to be privileged enough to ignore it. Pride was bittersweet.
People across the globe are being murdered and ostracized for being a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer. Within the US, there still needs to be changed legislation and minds to protect LGBTQIA. Within Idaho, it has only been a year since my previous boss Steven Nelson was murdered for being gay.
The original Pride was June 29, 1969, the notorious Stonewall rebellion. It was an upheaval of the toxic norm, led by the most vulnerable group still today (queers and trans women of color) who literally fought off police persecution that some could never fathom.
During the festivities, I was overwhelmed with pride for those that came before me, I sent a little prayer their way. Celebrate the victory, but we can't forget the war. No one can be left behind, or forgotten. So who's with me? Because we can't stop Pinks. We must keep rising.