In the Tampa Bay area today is Gay Pride Day, a time to celebrate the success of our community’s struggle for equality. When I attended college I stayed in the closet because love between two men was frowned upon. I finally came out while I attended law school at FSU, and what a liberating experience that was for me. I could finally be myself.
Now, some forty years later, same-sex couples can legally marry in all fifty states. They can adopt children. Openly gay men and women are members of the U.S. Congress. It’s all a bit amazing, considering how things were when I came of age in the mid 1970’s.
Less than two weeks ago a deranged loser who legally purchased an assault rifle murdered forty-nine of our sisters and brothers in Orlando, only a 90-minute drive from where I live. He wounded fifty-three others in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. So our struggle for acceptance continues, and it’s important that we don’t become complacent. The rights we have fought for and won can be taken away from us in a heartbeat if we are not vigilant.
Today my boyfriend will march in the St. Petersburg Pride Parade with his fellow law students. I’ll be curbside, watching the festivities with a friend. We’ll have fun, of course, but it’s terribly important that we remember the importance of the gay rights movement, and the sacrifices many LGBT people have made to get us where we are today. So, if there is a Gay Pride Parade in your area today, take the trouble to participate. Never forget that freedom is fragile. It has to be celebrated and nurtured. And we need to let the world know that we will not be intimidated.
Have a great Saturday, friends.