- Rachel M Hendricks, LCSW
Pride is a Protest- and Always Has Been
If you’ve been to the grocery store, browsed the internet or social media, or watched TV, you probably know that Pride is in full swing.
You can buy rainbow Oreos, see corporations like BP and ExxonMobil update their profile logos, and browse seemingly endless options of rainbow themed apparel and accessories. It would seem the queer community could not be more loved and accepted at this moment in time.
The rights of the queer community in the United States have never been more fraught. From Florida’s Don’t Say Gay Bill (a similar version of which just passed the North Carolina senate) to the possible rolling back of Roe v Wade, the potential for the federal protection of gay marriage (and interracial marriage and abortion/IVF/family planning, among others because they are all based around similar justifications) is on the line. And, those are just the overt legislative challenges.
We already know that the law is not applied in an unbiased way, and people of color, poor people, women, and oppressed groups are significantly more harmed and disproportionately negatively impacted by legislation- especially by legislation that has been marketed as a way of protecting their rights (see the history of the war on drugs for clarification if you have questions).
It is not enough to legislate our way into equality (though it is an important step); real change occurs through the building and connecting of communities.
The belief that we individually are capable or responsible for making change is a blatant untruth. It is using our voices together that creates change.
The trans Black women who stood up together, fought back together, and refused to continue to tolerate a system that refused to offer them even the smallest amount of dignity and protection are the reason we have Pride today. The history of the Stonewall RIOTS is one of a community who refused to be passive bystanders in the face of extreme injustice. Those women modeled what we need to do….. and, it’s more than buying rainbow Oreos.
As Aesop reminded us thousands of years ago, united we stand, and divided we fall.
If we really want Pride to mean something, it is time to stand together, to empower the voices of those most oppressed, to build community, to listen, and to challenge the systems that perpetuate inequity and violence.
As noted on the Honeybee Instagram, the gay agenda is simply to be loved as our genuine, authentic selves. If we believe in the gay agenda, then we need to work together to make it a reality.
United we stand. Divided we fall.
Pride is- and always has been- a protest. Don’t forget that. Don’t forget that Pride started as a RIOT.