Pride started to create a safe space for those who felt they had to hide who they are, and to recognize those who had been persecuted for their sexual orientation or gender expression. We have developed into a loud and proud community, so accept ALL of us or none at all. It’s simple:
If you don’t support transgender people, you shouldn’t be at Pride.
If you’re a “no fats, no fems, no blacks, no Asians” gay, you shouldn’t be at Pride.
If you’re misogynistic, chauvinistic, racist, classist, or if you believe some people are inherently better based on their genetics, you shouldn’t be at Pride.
If you AIDS/HIV shame, you shouldn’t be at Pride.
If you support candidates for office who are anti-LGBTQ+, or who support legislation that will treat us differently based on whom we love or how we express our gender, you shouldn’t be at Pride.
If you’re a woman just looking to have fun with “the gays” but are silent on our issues, you shouldn’t be at Pride.
If you’re a gay male that dislikes lesbians, you shouldn’t be at Pride.
Yes, Pride is about acceptance, equality and inclusivity — but people who don’t recognize our lives as valuable or who treat members of our community as inferior or shameful should not be at Pride.
It’s not hard to accept and love people who are different. It takes far more energy to hate than it does to love. It costs nothing to be a decent human being; it’s literally free.
And if you’re ready to celebrate love in all its forms and expressions, to treat everyone as though we are all just different colors in the same human rainbow, then I hope to see you at Frederick’s eighth annual Pride Celebration on June 22. It’s also free.