By: Deja Nicole Greenlaw*/TRT Columnist—
The Boston Pride theme for 2013 is “Moving forward … Proud, Strong, United!” This signifies the struggle that LGBT people have faced and how they are moving together to make things better. I find that this is a wonderful and true message—every word of it. Congrats and thank you to the person/people who came up with this year’s theme!
When I read what this year’s theme was, I knew exactly what my June column was going to be. I was so taken by its message, and I wanted to break this great theme into sections and explore what I believe is meant by each.
As the first section states, yes, we have to move forward. We cannot sit back or stop and rest, because there are those who will try to take away any gains that we have previously made. It’s sad and, frankly, quite irritating that there are others who want to limit our rights. In this land there is to be equal rights for all and an opportunity for everyone to each enjoy their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. How straightforward is that? How wonderful that statement is! What is it that these people who look to limit us do not understand? [pullquote]This signifies the struggle that LGBT people have faced and how they are moving together to make things better.[/pullquote]
These “limiters” usually operate under the guise of religion, claiming that their way is God’s way and the only way, period. They quote verses from various religious books, which are aimed at us and our rights. They will tell you that these verses are the words of God, but no one can prove that these are really God’s words. The reason is that these verses are not the words of God, but men, and might I add, not women, but men, written thousands of years ago. Make no mistake, God didn’t write any of these verses, men did.
Why did they write them? To try to control us? Why do they want to control us? So that we will remain in the shadows and closets for all time. It’s plain and simple bullying. It’s not very accepting, not very friendly, not very fair and certainly not very American. Still they think that God is on their side and they think that they are doing “God’s work” when they try to limit our rights. It’s their agenda. We must never lose sight of that fact. We must move forward.
The second section is the word “proud.” Too many of us lived/still live in shame, fear and self-loathing, not because we are evil, are not human, or are abominations, but because of the disparaging public relations agenda that is used against us. If you hear it enough times, you will believe these awful things, especially if you are an LGBT child. How many of us had stressful times growing up with the feeling that we were not normal? We grew up thinking that we were terrible people. Now we realize that it was all false, and for the first time in our lives we can actually be proud of who we are! [pullquote]The reason is that these verses are not the words of God, but men, and might I add, not women, but men, written thousands of years ago. Make no mistake, God didn’t write any of these verses, men did.[/pullquote]
The third section is “strong.” Yes, we must be strong. There will be opposition to us and sometimes it will not be pretty, but we must be strong. We LGBT people are still being bullied, physically beaten and murdered because of who we are. We must not cower, we must not hide, we must be strong. Too many people have taken/are still taking the hits of prejudice against us, and we must stand up to this awful prejudice and be strong.
The fourth and last section is “united.” We need to be united to ward off this prejudice, this awful agenda that the limiters have. We must stick together and watch each other’s backs, and be prepared to step up for the good of all. We cannot do it in factions, we must be united. Our numbers are much greater when we are one, and we need all of us working together to get it done.
Putting all the four sections together gives us a roadmap, a blueprint and a mission statement that was thoughtfully crafted and made for this year’s 2013 Boston Pride theme, “Moving forward … Proud, Strong, United!”
*Deja Nicole Greenlaw is a local transwoman who has 3 grown children and works at 3M. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.