As Pride Month comes to an end and we kick off the summer travel and party season, To Proudly Go has a lot to celebrate: a beautiful day marching in Brooklyn Pride, led by the extraordinary Flippe Kikee; thousands of dollars raised to uplift vulnerable members of the queer community; a stable and established social home for nerdfolk to connect every Saturday at Baraccuda; and of course a thriving and growing community of people drawn together by our love of Trek and our membership in (or allyship of) the LGBTQ+ community.
With so much to celebrate, it does also seem appropriate to reflect on what Pride really means, and the work that lies ahead.
Each year, we celebrate LGBTQ+ identity for the month of June, and we mark the advances in equality that have expanded the rights everyone deserves: to be who they are, to marry who they love, and to receive the benefits afforded to everyone else. But it’s important to remember that the movement to secure our rights started with a riot after prolonged and regular harassment of gay people by the authorities. And in so many ways it felt like the work was done.
But we live in a dynamic and changing world, and there are forces arrayed against the values of the majority of Americans—forces which seek to, and have already succeeded in doing so, take away personal freedoms from the American people.
This year, with the reversal of Roe v. Wade two days before the seventh anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision to codify marriage equality, we very likely have another time of struggle ahead of us.
The radical court has already revoked a woman’s right to choose, and it is nearly certain that they will attack equal marriage rights in the next year. Some who sit on the Court have signaled that they also intend to pursue the re-criminalization of gay sex of any kind.
As we look back with pride on all we accomplished, it is important to prepare ourselves for the challenges to come. Maintaining our rights, and reestablishing a woman’s right to whatever healthcare she needs, will not be easy. We will need to show up for one another and for the people who will come after us. We will need to show up at the voting booth, and at protests, and in the inboxes of our elected officials. And we’ll need to show up however we can to spread the messages of love and equality under the law in places outside of our gayborhoods.
The statehouses outside of New York and California, and local elections, will be critical not only to the continuation of LGBTQ+ rights, but to the restoration of women’s healthcare rights, and possibly to the survival of democracy itself.
Looking back on Pride month, there is much to be truly proud of. But looking forward, we may find ourselves needing to tap into the defiant spirit of previous generations of LGBTQ+ people–the people who had to fight to get us here.
We can take a moment and remember that Pride isn’t just a month. Pride isn’t only a parade. It’s a movement, a march through time, and the journey comes with ups but also with downs. Some downs are probably coming our way.
But we’re in this together, and our community has won against all odds many times before.