For more than a year, the isolation, public health fears, economic turmoil, and loss of loved ones brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have had disproportionate impacts on the LGBTQ community and have echoed old traumas, reopening old wounds. When overlaid against the rise in White Supremacist, anti-Black, anti-API, anti-Semetic, and anti-LGBTQ violence, and an insurection, moments of this last year have rightfully felt overwhelmingly terrifying. Now we turn to focus on restoring, rebuilding, redeeming, and reviving ourselves as individuals, families, communities, and a country. We are Resilient.
In the wake of international Pride month, we have witnessed a rise in violence against and murder of our community members in countries across the world and here in the U.S. Our rights were again up for debate at the Supreme Court, and a record number of anti-LGBTQ bills have been entered into legislatures this year.
To this day, people still ask “Do we need Pride?”
Yes! I will continue to remind us all that we do not have Pride because we are free; we have Pride because we are not. We still do not have equal legal protection under the law. Even in states like California, we have far to go before the lived experience of our LGBTQ community meets the bar of basic support laid out by legislation.
It is upon each of us to rend joy and liberation out of oppression. We owe to ourselves and the next generation the realization of our own power. Each small and large action to call out injustice, re-envision our friendships and workplaces, spend our dollars differently, and hold accountable our elected and faith leaders has built us to a better time than the one we inherited.
As you emerge from your home or choose to celebrate safely in it, please ensure that you are gentle with yourself and others as much as you seek justice and joy. Healing from our traumas takes time and intentionality. So I encourage you to join us in person or virtually in the days and events to come in ways that feel best to you, because we will need you all in the work ahead of us. I will see many of you at this Friday’s Art of Pride: Together Again, Saturday’s She Fest, and Sunday’s Resilient Community March. I truly hope to continue seeing you in this long, intergenerational, intersectional movement for liberation feeling whole, healed, brave, and Resilient.
Fernando Zweifach López
San Diego Pride