#Pride: That's what we fought for
A gentle reminder, before the many "I remember when Pride was..." posts:
Yes, that's what we fought for.
We fought for queer folk to dance half-naked on a float because we fought for queer folk to be allowed to do whatever the hell they wanted without being beaten to death for it.
We fought because silence was death, and death was—and is—very, very real. The noise still matters.
We fought for the les-bi-gay parents and the dykes on bikes, and the leather crowd, and the kink lovers, and the drag queens, and the trans folk, and public displays of our affections, and all the various intersections thereof, because even if it's not our individual self, the whole point was that our selves—whatever they were—are a freedom we deserve.
We fought for equalities like marriage, which includes the right to not take part in those equalities if we didn't want to—having the option, though, matters.
We fought corporations to be seen, and now those corporations sponsor whole damn parades and that's also a good thing (and though it's also always a good thing to keep an eye on, it's not necessarily a betrayal when a former challenger becomes a supporter).
We fought—and still fight—for so damn freaking much, and enjoying the parade isn't a compromise or a unilateral support of everything on display. It's a party. It's a celebration of how far we've come, and an opportunity to enjoy being queer in whatever way we're queer, and show all the queerlings we're here, and there are futures out there for them.
And we're not done. We're nowhere near done. Every parade is a reminder of what we've done and what we can still do, and it might not look like the parades you remember. There will be causes you wish were louder, and causes you don't understand. Speak up about those, ask questions about those.
But those kids dancing and partying and kissing and being loud and proud and happy?
It's absolutely the point.
'Nathan Burgoine's first novel, Light, was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. His newest, Triad Blood, is available now from Bold Strokes Books. Find him on Facebook. Photo by James Grady from Nashville's 2016 Pride festival.