Celebrating Pride

My friends and my fellow citizens, we find ourselves once again in Pride month.  It is that time of year that we reflect on what it means for us to be part of the LGBT community and to celebrate our own identity.  We remember the triumphs of the past year and the set-backs.  We welcome our new brethren who are just discovering who they are and what being part of the community will mean to them, and we honor those that have left us with only their memories.

Our community is rich and diverse.  We come from all walks of life.  We are young and old and middle-aged.  We are rich and poor and middle-class.  We are white, African-American, Hispanic, Asian-American and from many other ethnic backgrounds.  But regardless of who we are and where we come from, one thing unites us all.  We are all part of this community…this pride.  For this one brief moment, we turn our focus inward to ourselves and to those around us.

Our voices ring louder during this time…making sure that the public and our elected officials know that we aren’t going away and that we will continue to fight for our equal rights.  We want the mainstream public to see that we are part of all walks of life and that we are proud of who we are.  We are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender…and we are Americans.  We love our nation, and we want the best for our nation.  And we know that what is best for our nation is to have all its citizens contributing to better the society in which we live.

The time is upon us to celebrate ourselves and our community, but we know that the fight still continues for our equality within society.  Pridefest brings us all together and reminds us of what we have in common.  It unites us once again for the battles that are to be waged in the months ahead.  It also has an internal…more personal… touch to it since we are all very much different from each other.  For some, we take the time to reflect on how we came to be the individual that we are and how being part of this community has shaped our lives… and how our lives have impacted our community and our overall society.

We cannot take who we are for granted.  Our culture is here for us, and we must honor it and cherish it…even as we are molding it.  Our community is our pride and our culture is what we offer to the rest of the masses.  We are unique and diverse…and that is something worth celebrating.

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