The Importance of Pride

by Brandon Lacy
June 1996

June is here and all across the country pride events are taking place. I have heard the sentiments expressed by many gay men that while having pride in one's self is intrinsic to a happy life, that the display of "pride" is not necessary.

This is the same attitude (Pride is unnecessary) displayed by many of the religious right and conservative groups that try to balk at allowing Pride parades.

This year will be my first pride festival and I will be emceeing a stage at Pride Minneapolis '96. I think it is important for the gay community to continue to express pride in ourselves, outwardly, so that the rest of the world does not forget that we are here. We need to show that we are struggling, and that we are fighting for the rights that are not thought about by the "straight" majority population, and by most minority groups, in the United States.

I am proud to be a gay man, and while that's not the definitive point of my life, it is a large part of who I am, and I will take Pride to express that side of myself. Like the African American festival of Kwanzaa, and other holidays celebrated by ethnic minorities to express pride in their cultures Pride festivals are meant to do the same in the gay community.

The gay youth community of Minneapolis will be heading up the Pride parade this year. That is significant to me, in the respect that it is the larger gay community saying that they have special pride in their gay youth, because they are putting us first.

They are standing behind us and helping us to fight for our better living. Maybe that is a little optimistic, or reading more into the parade then is really there, but it is a thought for hope, and every ray of hope can lead to a rainbow.

So, this year, take up your banners, get out into the streets, and display Pride in yourself, in others, and in the movement that is sparking a revolution.

Brandon Lacy is a student at Warren Wilson College, in Asheville, NC. He is a Human Studies Major with a focus on political sociology and gay studies. He is the secretary of the GBLT Alliance on campus, and works with the Out 4 Good program in the Minneapolis Public Schools. Brandon is an avid writer, and is not happy unless he is composing some new piece of work. Brandon is a native of Minneapolis, Minnesota and lives there when he is not at college. He is currently at work on his first novel, a collection of short fiction and non-fiction prose and poetry.
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