Wednesday, June 21, 2006

You are Not the Only One

This year’s Los Angeles Pride festival has come and gone. For that one weekend each year, we get to celebrate our culture and heritage. Walking down Santa Monica Blvd, a smile crosses my face and this feeling of pride, love, and acceptance creeps into my being. At first, it is small, but with every step I take, it grows stronger. I look around me, it is early morning and the boulevard is quite only a few people walking burry eyed to and from the local Starbucks.

The air is electric and calm all at the same time. It is very surreal, on this the first day of pride, the first day of a celebration that allows me to feel that I am not the only one. But part of a broader community, that has a heart and soul that has been wounded and ripped open by AIDS in the 80’s and 90’s and now fights for the right to have our relationships legally acknowledged and the same basic rights every straight person takes for granted.

Such as the right to visit our partner in hospital, adopt or have our own children without fear of loosing them. The right to walk down a street holding the hand of our loved one without fear of harassment or physical assault. The right to love our partner and not have our love diminished and ridiculed as “not real”. Love is love, it knows no bounds and does not base whom it affects on sex or religion.

On this, one weekend in June our community comes together and celebrates those, we have lost, those we have found, and what it means to be GAY. We are a community of untold compassion and giving. Many gay services run on the power of volunteerism, even the Pride festival itself is run by a large contingent of volunteers. These people give tirlessly of their time to help those in our community who would otherwise have nowhere to turn. All to often you hear about how the gay community is full of promiscuous, crystal meth taking ravers. What the news never reports is how much the gay community gives back to itself and the greater community known as humanity.

Therefore, for two whole days I get to revel in the wonder that is this community and family, I am proud to be apart of and who has given me a home. One day I will celebrate like this 365 days a year and not just 2 days a year.

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