Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mid-South Pride - An Awesome Day To Be Gay

Yesterday was a beautiful day in the city of Memphis, Tennessee; the sky was blue, the clouds were sparse, and the weather was warm. It was the perfect day for the annual Mid-South Pride parade, where LGBT people from all over West Tennessee, Eastern Arkansas, North Mississippi, and Southeast Missouri came to be open and honest with who they are and celebrate their love and families.
For a bit of Pride, Nathan and I helped volunteer at the Tennessee Equality Project booth, our states  LGBT lobbying group. Members of our equality posse dressed up as zombies who were in search of the brains of pro-equality government officials. It was awesome, I can say, dumping fake blood on our pro-equality zombies, and see them staggering down Beale street. 
Though Pride was a great experience, and one which has received mostly positive feedback from the Memphis community, it showed me something which I have always known, yet been very hesitant to voice. In some estimates given, there were thousands of LGBT people and straight allies at this event; yet does this "pride" in our community spill over into the ballot box? We can have floats and paraders galore, but how many of these people who put time and energy into building a float, put the same time and energy in advocating for our legal and social equality? Why does our community come out in droves for events such as Pride, but yet when we have the option to elect pro-equality members of our city government, no one shows up? 

Though there are many dedicated individuals, whether they be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or a straight ally, who are fighting the good fight of equality against the hateful masses in Tennessee; it is an understatement to say that we are not exerting the full pressure that our community could exert. Instead of our whole community standing for our rights, we expect others to do it for us. We go about our day to day lives existing in a society that asserts that we are inferior, yet many of us take that inferiority sitting down. Instead of "occupying" the statehouse, or even the mayors office; we go to work and then we go home. When is our community (ALL of our community, not just the subset that we see now) going to demand our equality? When are we going to become a force to be reckoned with in the South? When will we get as many people in a protest in front of the mayors office, as we do at Pride? I for one, hope that we can take the pride that we had yesterday in this city, and exude it to our government and society. 



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