I took this photo during Pride a couple of years ago, in a time when I felt far more positive about this country…this world. Not every element of life was hunky dory then (is it ever?) but it seemed so easy to focus on the emergence of light and color at the heart of the photo. Today, it’s increasingly difficult for me to look past the dark clouds creeping in.
Last week, I wrote about our fears taking hold. There’s no questioning how many uncertainties exist in the world today. I understand how easy it is to succumb to doubt and anger, turning inwardly for protection rather than stretching our arms out to seek comfort in one another. But, I was raised on Free to Be…You and Me and The Great American Melting Pot. So, I continue to cling to…
I see a land bright and clear, and the time’s comin’ near
When we’ll live in this land, you and me, hand in hand.
And you and me are free to be you and me.
You simply melt right in,
It doesn’t matter what your skin.
It doesn’t matter where you’re from,
Or your religion, you jump right in
To the great American melting pot.
So, on this eve of Pride Weekend here in Seattle, here are a few things that have brought me pause lately. Food for thought. Reminders. Reminders that we need to celebrate our differences, which often turn out to be not so different after all. Reminders that hateful attitudes and opinions and actions are impacting children – children who shouldn’t have a worry in the world. Reminders that, despite the many outpourings of love, there is still so much hate. Reminders that, no matter how far we’ve come, we still have a lot of work to do.
Filled My Heart:
“I’m designating the Stonewall National Monument as the newest addition to America’s National Park System. Stonewall will be our first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights. I believe our national parks should reflect the full story of our country, the richness and diversity and uniquely American spirit that has always defined us. That we are stronger together. That out of many, we are one.” – President Obama
Broke My Heart:
When I Told My Gay Son 49 People Died for Being Just Like Him – oh and, by the way, her son is an out 11 year old. These parents are winning hard in a time when the world is failing so much.
Warmed My Heart:
How three gay couples navigated their path around hetero-normative marriage customs by starting their own non-traditional wedding traditions. I had a good chuckle at the Olive Garden story.
My Heart Can’t Even:
It’s pretty easy to be complacent about tolerance in a liberal city like Seattle. Yet, we are hardly immune to hate. This past week, while walking back to their car from a queer benefit show and fundraiser for the victims of the Pulse, Orlando shooting, Michael Volz was the victim of a transphobic attack. If you are looking for ways to open your arms and reach out with love, consider supporting Michael’s recovery and healing.
Note: this link contains a graphic image. I planned to include it here, because I think it’s incredibly important to face the harsh realities of hate head-on. However, in consideration of those for whom it might be a trigger, I decided against it. Instead, I implore you to remain aware of these stories – and act to prevent them or support the victims in whatever ways you can.
Now Watching: Gay Positive – documentary about the ban on gay men donating blood in the U.S.
Now Listening: Gay Anthems