Pride 2020 more reminiscent of Pride in the 1980s than more recent parades

I got a glimpse at Pride 2020 today. It reminded me much more of Pride in the 1980s than recent years. Not as corporate. More community. Joyous but with an edge. More mission-focused.

An unusual highlight for me was when the emcee said, “we have water for free, love yourself and drink it. We have masks, love each other and wear them. This is what intersectionality means.” I thought it was an astute observation. Intersectionality can be hard to grasp in practice – but what it means is that I wear a mask to stand (distantly) by you becuase you might be visiting your grandma tomorrow and I want to help keep her safe. Or I marched for your right to marry, and I hope you march for equal pay. Everything is connected – we just need to see and act like lifting up our neighbor and protecting our neighbor in turn lifts us all up to a higher plane.

It’s a simple message that I’ve heard at many protests, especially lately, a reminder that we are stronger together – supporting each other. Also, there’s a time to speak up and a time to stand behind.

I was reminded of going to Pride in mid 1980s with one of my best friends Scott Odman, who passed away a few years ago from a heart that was too big. I’m almost certain we were going to see Têtes Noires. But we were also there to stand behind, stand with, stand up, stand wherever we needed to for the growing movement (which clearly started before our time) for GLBTQIA communiyt.

And today was hard becuase it also felt a little bit like three steps forward, two steps back. Hopefully the growing understanding of intersectionality will help build a momentum that helps the GLBTQIA community move forward and further without leaving anyone (like trans and especially black trans people) behind.

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