June 12th, 2021
It’s been 5 years since the Pulse NightClub shooting in 2016.
After that shooting I’ll never forget reading the responses/coverage of that night. An elected official tweeted “you reap what you sow.” Many tried to separate the shooting violence from the queer hate. Some stayed silent. Nothing has changed in this country as we continue to have mass shooting after mass shooting, with no end in sight.
Today is also the first day of Early Voting in NYC and I just want to remind everyone you can’t have one without the other.
Pride is political. Our community has always been and still is under attack. Our struggles are all interconnected; the struggles for queer liberation, racial equity, gun control, economic stability and so much more are all political and they are all connected.
The powerful voting block that is the LGBTQ+ community & our allies must make sure our leaders don’t forget us. We cannot allow them to have Rainbows on logos while obstructing the Equality Act and gun control legislation or continuing to march in a parade that excludes us.
Teachers and students at my school were asked to share what Pride means to us. I felt it was important to also share with kids that Pride is so much more than just self love and inclusion, but pride is a radical political act. I wrote this poem for the students at my school about what Pride means to me.
What is Pride?
Pride is love.
Pride is a Civil Rights movement.
Pride is inclusion
Pride is a celebration of how far we have come
Pride is a remembrance of our history
Pride is a radical act of resistance
Pride is the Stonewall Uprising
Pride is Martia P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera
Pride is political
Pride is a fight for fair and equal treatment under the law
Pride is the repeal of “Don’’t ask Don’t Tell”
Pride is the continued fight to pass the Equality Act
Pride is advocating for gun control laws in honor of the 49 lives lost at Pulse
Pride is Harvey Milk, Senator Jabari Brisport and Sec. Pete Buttigege.
Pride is community
Pride is chosen family
Pride is Laverne Cox, Bayard Rustin, Lil Nas X and James Baldwin
Pride is our LGBTQ+ Students and staff
Pride is everywhere
Pride is everyone
& Pride is everything.
Photo by Kyle O'Leary