Monday, June 2, 2008

A quiet kick-off to Pride month

Another quiet weekend has passed here on Fire Island, but gays and lesbians across the country continue to gear up for the frenzy of parties, marches and other events that traditionally mark Pride month.

Thousands of New Yorkers from across the city descended upon Jackson Heights yesterday for the annual Queens Pride march and street festival while thousands of others gathered in Asbury Park for the 17th annual Jersey Pride. Thunderstorms and torrential downpours largely dampened the annual Out in Sayville festivities here on Fire Island and across the Great South Bay on the mainland, but local drag queens still put on quite a show at Cherry's in Cherry Grove on Saturday night.

The gay ideal–for a lack of a better categorization–has become something of a cliché as pop culture continues to embrace it. Ellen, Carson and Stamford (for those queens who love "Sex and the City") have become everyone's best friends–or at least those who have cable television. The visibility these figures bring is certainly something all of us should celebrate, but the fact remains, however, millions of LGBT people across the country have yet to achieve this very basic of goals. Their parents still kick them out of their homes. Their neighbors still taunt them with anti-LGBT epithets. Governments around the world continue to persecute them. We are doomed to fail as a people if we neglect to recognize our own history–and struggle towards this thing we call equality and justice. Pride month provides all of us an opportunity to remember this history as we celebrate ourselves and the arguable progress we have achieved both as individuals and as a group... so on that socially conscious note: happy Pride!

No comments: