This year we’re flying the rainbow flag over our home 24/7 during the month of June. I’d been thinking about it for a while, especially after we had put it up for our annual fundraising event in April. I liked how it looked then so I decided to put it back up in recognition of Pride month.
We’re living in a time of great uncertainty about what the future will bring for our community – that’s about the only thing that is certain these days! It can be easy to get discouraged when, on the first day of our 30-day annual celebration of Pride, some not so good news comes across our newsfeeds.
Just this morning, for example, I learned that the Court of Appeal in Hong Kong has just today ruled against a same-sex couple who had filed suit against the Government for failing to recognize their marriage.
Next up I saw the news that the Government of Bermuda has become the only government in the world ever to repeal marriage equality. Lovely.
And the icing on the cake? The Trump administration has officially proclaimed June to be “National Ocean Month,” “National Caribbean-American Heritage Month,” “Great Outdoors Month,” “National Homeownership Month,” and “African-American Music Appreciation Month.” Not a word about LGBT Pride Month – for the second year in a row.
All of this before I even got out of bed.
To that end, I think it’s especially important for us to remember all that we have to be proud of as a community this year. So rather than wallow in all the negativity, let’s use this month to remind ourselves how much we each have to be proud of.
I’m very proud that we surpassed 3,000 “Likes” on our Facebook page yesterday. That means that more and more folks have access to the articles and stories we share. I’m very proud of the hard work we have done and are continuing to do as an organization to help change hearts, minds and lives.
While we may not have a supportive administration today let’s not forget that just a few years ago we did – and that we will again. Who would’ve thought that our White House would have ever displayed the colors of the rainbow in celebration of our marriage equality victory in the Obergefell v. Hodges case? Certainly not closeted gay 15 year old me back in North Carolina. Yet here it was, on June 26th 2015. I’ll never forget how proud I was when I saw that image.
I’m extremely proud of all the people who have had the courage to share their own personal stories though our platform. The wonderful folks pictured with me here and so many others have helped change countless hearts, minds and lives by sharing a part of themselves to help others. I’m proud to call each and every one of them my friends.
One of my proudest moments was our wedding day. Proud that we were able to get married because of the hard work of all those who came before us, and even more proud of my parents who insisted on signing our marriage certificate as witnesses. It meant so much to both of us to have them there.
What are you proud of this year? Let us know in the comments.
Charles Chan Massey is the co-founder and Executive Director of The Personal Stories Project. He refers to himself as an “Accidental Activist” because just as he didn’t choose to be gay, he didn’t choose to become an activist. Activism chose him. You can reach Charles at firstname.lastname@example.org.