Posted By jace_donaldson on September 6, 2009
by Jase Donaldson
The impending GLBTQ pride celebration in our fair city has given me pause to think about the nature of the celebration, and my own thoughts on “pride” as it relates to those of us in the GLBTQ community, as well as Unitarian Universalism.
June is traditionally recognized the world over as “Gay Pride Month,” inspired by the historic Stonewall Riots in New York City in June 1969. However, in Dallas, we hold our GLBTQ Pride Parade and Festival in September. For those of you unaware why, it actually isn’t because of the June Texas heat (which isn’t much better by September).
A brief history to honor the legacy of this important event: In 1983, the Dallas Tavern Guild (the not-for-profit organization of GLBT nightclubs) moved the parade from June to the third Sunday in September and renamed it the Texas Freedom Parade in honor of Judge Barefoot Sanders’ ruling that first negated the Texas sodomy law. In 1991 the parade was named in honor of Alan Ross, at the time the Tavern Guild’s Executive Director and a tireless advocate for GLBT rights and AIDS. That year, the parade became the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade. This year’s parade is the 26th annual, held Sunday September 20th, and carries the theme “Your Rights, Our Rights, Human Rights.”
Though we may visibly celebrate with our GLBTQ brothers, sisters, and allies in September, I challenge each of us to celebrate our own unique “pride” every day. But, what is pride exactly?
Pride can be defined as:
- A feeling of self-respect and personal worth
- Satisfaction with your (or another’s) achievements – He takes pride in his son’s success.
- The best of a group, class, or society – This bull is the pride of the herd.
As each of us gather together for Sunday service, weekly activities, or events such as the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, let us remember our own individual pride, and the pride in the successes of those around us. Let us respect our own unique, authentic selves, and realize our own personal worth and what we can offer the world, while we continuously recognize the inherent worth & dignity of those we interact with.
Let us strive to be the best of our own group(s) – the best friend, the best neighbor, the best citizen, the best parent/sibling/child, the best Unitarian Universalist, the best human being that we can be. Let us all reach to become the pride of our own individual herds – not in a boastful, brash, competitive way; but rather in an earnest, nurturing, loving way that communicates to others our own value systems as well as their personal worth to us.
As with the Freedom Parade, Pride is sometimes but one day (or perhaps a few) set aside for us to gather together and commune with our own true selves and the ones we love. It is a day where we can let our hair down, shout to the world that we are here and are to be respected & loved, and to respect and love others if they’ll only allow us to. Let us rejoice in this ever-growing, colorful, diverse celebration of our GLBT brothers, sisters, and/or friends, but let us also go out into the world with a sense of pride in our homes, our families, our communities, our church, our nuclear and extended tribes of all types, and be proud of our differing backgrounds, our unique heritage, and the ties that bind us ever closer with one another.