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Happy PRIDE!

Alright folks, buckle up. It’s that time of year again. So let’s just get this out here now. I am going to write about Pride Month. If you are somehow, some way, living in 2019 and still offended by that, please stop reading. If you insist on continuing to read and then insist on following

Alright folks, buckle up. It’s that time of year again. So let’s just get this out here now. I am going to write about Pride Month. If you are somehow, some way, living in 2019 and still offended by that, please stop reading. If you insist on continuing to read and then insist on following that up with a nasty email calling me offensive names, know this. I’m going to share that email with my friends and family, and we are going to make fun of you. A lot.

So let’s continue, shall we?

According to the Library of Congress, “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Riots in Manhattan. This year is the 50th anniversary of the Riots. The Stonewall Riots were a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as ‘Gay Pride Day,’ but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation, the ‘day’ soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBT Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.”

I haven’t heard of any Pride event happening locally, and I keep hoping every year that will change, but if you want to get out and be supportive Erie Pride is on the 29th. There is also the Central PA Pride Festival in Harrisburg in July and in New York City’s on June 30th.

So since we don’t (that I know of, and as always, correct me if I’m wrong) have any Pride events happening, what can you do to celebrate? That’s easy. Go get you a big ol’ rainbow flag and fly it proudly. Or donate to a local or national LGBTQ organization. Support locally owned/friendly, LGBTQ businesses. Add a happy little banner to your FB profile. Or just make sure you speak up when you hear derogatory or discriminatory talk.

The most important thing you can do is use your voice. Let your LGBTQ friends, family, co-workers, and acquaintances, know that you support them no matter what. That you won’t be a part of the discrimination and hate and that you will stand with them in their fight for equality.

If you know someone or even know OF someone who doesn’t have the support of friends and family, be that support for them.

Although a lot of progress has been made in gay rights over the years, there is still much more work to be done. There are still too many states without discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community (including Pennsylvania) and still too many people with hate in their hearts for people different than themselves. Let’s all do what we can to support equality on all fronts in our country.

No one should experience bullying, harassment, or discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity. Not agreeing with a life that is different than yours, doesn’t give you free rein to respond with judgment and certainly not violence.

I really look forward to the day when being gay or supporting LGBTQ rights isn’t a thing. I really look forward to a time when me writing articles like this isn’t needed. But in the meantime, I will continue to write; I will continue to support until all my LGBTQ friends and family are able to love as openly and freely as I can. But not too freely, I don’t care who you are; I don’t want to see your PDA.

Always remember — you don’t have to be gay to be supportive. #Loveislove

On another note, I just want to say thank you so much to everyone out there who called, wrote, or attended Father John’s services. The turnout was amazing, and the outpouring of support was incredible. Thank you again.

On another, another note. Happy Father’s Day. I hope you all enjoy your day!

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