Friday, July 6, 2012
We do not HAVE to March...Reflections on Pride week.
Initially I decided that PRIDE week really has no place in my personal life anymore and that it had mostly become a reason for the young people to party. But then I considered how much of a place PRIDE had in my heart.
Many years back, after a series of life events, and in an effort to meet people, I contacted PEI PRIDE and through the committee I met so many wonderful people at a time when I may have otherwise been alone. I am still friends with most of those people. I considered the role that PRIDE has played in getting us to where we are today in terms of rights and freedoms and decided I could not ignore this week as an "unimportant" thing. PRIDE has helped so many like- minded people come together, have fun and most importantly feel safe doing so.
I thought of the young man who was murdered in Halifax a few months back, Raymond Taavel was his name.
And then I recalled how so many people who knew him through PRIDE, and even those who did not, gathered in the street to honor his memory and how Facebook was full of the PRIDE flags as a gesture of solidarity and respect. Then I decided that YES, there are lots of reasons to celebrate and to be seen. No, we may not HAVE to march , but we CAN and that in itself is something to celebrate.
Once a year, a week of celebration of something we may have in common, a week of celebration also of the diversity among us. This is a week to see old friends, to dance, to sing, and to respect difference. It is a week to remember what PRIDE has meant to us in the past or does mean to us now. This week we can celebrate the youth who can foster pride in themselves and not feel ashamed. They might not feel like they are so alone. This week is for the children of gay parents as they grow up, to celebrate their lives, and their Moms and Dads.
I thought about the beauty and the simplicity of the PRIDE flag in all its glory and I knew that this colourful symbol would be a part of my life forever, no matter if i participate or not. The flag is ours, a universal symbol of promise and peace. A welcoming symbol on any door or window when travelling, a symbol of unity and endurance.
If for a moment I lose my enthusiasm surrounding PRIDE week I need only to think of the meaning behind the colours in the flag, meanings that do not need a week, but are useful as daily whisperings for anyone.
RED for life and pride in our daily lives and the way we live them, the way we treat others. ORANGE for healing and as a community & there is no shortness of that to do. YELLOW for Sunshine, which everyone enjoys, and the time we celebrate. GREEN for Nature so lets respect what's natural in us and others, BLUE for Harmony which we absolutely want, and last but not least PURPLE for spirit, so lets celebrate Pride week in the spirit it is intended , in the spirit of inclusion, visibility, diversity, and of course, pride in who we have been, in who we are and who we might become.
HAPPY PRIDE WEEK