This week I’m continuing celebrating my #PrideChallenge.
(Due to computer problems, some of this post was intended to be released mid-June.)
As I immerse myself in LGBT books and films, I see how LGBT history has been full of darkness with having to hide being who you are and who you love, being ridiculed, threatened, beaten, and even punished to death. Then, the AIDS epidemic that took so many lives. Even now, the sadness and madness continues with ignorance guiding or misguiding people’s behaviors.
I can see the importance of Pride, of having to celebrate and dance, to let in the light, and to be the light. I can see the importance of Pride- especially now, after the massacre at Orlando’s Pulse gay nightclub. Waking up on a Sunday morning to that horrific news was a nightmare. So many lives lost- and many more affected and forever altered. Yet another crime committed by someone who had his hands on a gun no civilian should even have had access to.
Aside from prominently displaying our Pride books, business went on as usual. But I tried to be extra appreciative of the general kindness people were showing that day. I told the lady who volunteers with her therapy dog how much happiness they bring to the people who read to them. After work, I went to a vigil. It was a spur of the moment thing that caught on in Portland. So many people responded to it and attended because they needed to be with others who were feeling the same sadness, anger, fear, loss of hope, and tenacity to not let this act of hate diminish their ability to love.
Another vigil took place later in the week. I saw all kinds of people there which I needed to see. I liked seeing the kids at these kinds of events because it gives me hope that compassion is being taught at an early age.
Melted Candle Wax from a Vigil- By the time I looked down, I noticed my candle had formed half a heart so I decided to complete it. By the time it was over, the heart was formed and more solid.
The tragedy put things in perspective for me. Pride weekend was the following week in Portland. I was originally just going to watch in the sidelines of the Parade but an organization invited people to join them so I invited friends and we walked. I also decided to participate the Pride Glow Run at the last minute and I met other friends another night to celebrate.
Pride weekend became a celebration of love. I’m so proud of any and every one who chooses love over hate, hope over fear!
What are you celebrating this week?