Dictates by Uncle RJ On PRIDE 2016
Happy Pride Weekend to all of our readers.
I will not hesitate to let Uncle RJ write in this space. He bribed me.. LOL.
It is expected that this will be the largest NY Gay Pride Parade ever. Gone are the days when the parade started up in the Central Park area and went to the Village in a much longer parade. Now, it's much shorter but its meaning is especially important this year.
The horrendous murders in Orlando two weeks ago have had a profound impact on LGBT people of all ages all over the country. I would not have the stupidity to explain any reasons for the Orlando Massacre. We just know how many of our LGBT brothers and sisters were killed and others are still recovering at various stages in and out of hospitals. We also have many grieving parents... who could be OUR parents.
We will have more people marching this year in support of the Orlando Massacre. It has motivated many to realize that our safety as a community is not as safe as we have assumed, nor are we accepted by others in the way we had presumed and hoped.
It is at times like this that we really come together in the solidarity we should have at all times. For instance, in the beginning of the A.I.D.S. pandemic, so many lesbians and gay men joined together in caring for the people with the disease which decimated our entire community. The beginning of the Gay Men's Health Crisis, Act Up, God's Love We Deliver... all sprang into action. And the NAMES PROJECT A.I.D.S. MEMORIAL QUILT began as a healing way for survivors to remember those they had lost. "One Life to Life" was the first soap opera to deal with the disease in a week of stories all being taped in New Vernon, New Jersey.
From anyone's point of view, it seems that our LGBT brothers and sisters rise to the occasion when a crisis hits. BUT we really should think about how we treat each other in the post crisis times-- the way we so often don't show much solidarity. Can we say that racism and ageism have disappeared? Do we ever take time to listen to the experiences of the men and women who started a Gay Freedom movement before most of us were even born?
Let's take some time to thank people on the parade route who have continued to support all of us even as their numbers waned. P-FLAG, Dignity, GAAMC, various gay ethnic groups, HIV Supporters still lobbying for early detection and treatment of a scourge which hasn't gone away. And how do we treat LGBT people over 30 years of age? In many places they appear to be invisible.
Whether you are in NY on Sunday or not, let's make this a day when we start treating one another with respect... and with the love which is so essential for us to survive. We must never forget how far we have come AND never rest with the assumption that the struggle is over.
Have a wonderful Pride Celebration!
Uncle RJ... and Cousin Butchie just told me to tell you that he approves!
ALSO... There will be a wonderful tribute to the victims of Orlando tomorrow morning (Saturday, June 25th) at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in South Plainfield. Following the 9 A.M. Mass there will be the planting of two memorial trees in front of the church. As soon as possible there will be a stone monument between the trees. All are welcome.