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To Live With Pride

Well, it’s Pride Month and as many of you know, in the US and other places around the world, things aren’t always safe for LGBTQ+ people right now. I hope you are safe wherever you are. And if you are not directly part of the LGBTQ+ community, I hope you are doing your best to help keep your friends, colleagues, and family members safe.


This month, I also want to speak of pride in general. In some religions, pride gets a bad rap. It gets conflated with arrogance or hubris, which are actually a lack of pride. I think it pride got a bad reputation because oppressive authority figures did not want people to claim their rightful place, without subservience or shame.


When we live with pride, we know and claim our place in the world. We cultivate balance. We don’t overcompensate or sell ourselves short. We don’t overshadow or oppress others. We know what we have to offer. We can accept what others have to give.



In this vein, Pride Month is about LGBTQ+ people claiming our place in the world.


As we know, Pride Month has its roots in necessary dissent. Gay, lesbian, and especially trans people, decided they’d had enough of bullying and brutality. Enough of being targeted simply for being who they were. Enough of hiding in the shadows. They decided to face down the oppressive systems and live with pride.


So today, I honor the brave people at Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco, who just wanted a safe place to hang out together. I honor the brave people of the Stonewall Inn in New York. I honor the legacy of Stormé deLarverie, Marsha P. Johnson, and Sylvia Rivera, who took up the banner of liberation and marched with it.


I honor Ben Barres, Josephine Baker, Klaus Nomi, Wendy Carlos, Harvey Milk, Bayard Rustin, James Baldwin, and Audre Lorde. I honor every person, named and unnamed, who lived their lives as they saw fit, whether times felt friendly or treacherous to their being.


I honor Granny Albert McLeod and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, and all of those still living in service, strength, and joy.


And I honor those who didn’t make it, too.


I hope you find something to be proud of in your life. I hope you claim your rightful place. And I hope we all find ways to support each other in these times.


 

Did you know my fiction is filled with LGBTQ+ characters? You can request them at the library, order them from your favorite bookseller, or buy most of them from me directly (currently at a steep discount). Happy reading!




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