Ever since the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in 1970, June has heralded a season of pride for our community. Across the country and the world, thousands come out to show that the LGBTQA+ Community is a real and present force in the modern age, and that we are proud of who and what we are.
Of course, we here at Try Modern believe in the importance of pride. Pride season brings us together in a way it seems nothing else can. Gathered under our rainbow flag, our sometimes-disparate community really is something of a family. Further, festivals and even smaller gatherings are vital, not only because they are a unifying force for our community, but because they are a beacon to the wider world. After all, what symbol of our community is more recognizable than a good, old-fashioned pride parade, aside from the aforementioned rainbow flag?
And so, Pride is viewed as a time for celebration. We’ve made it another year, and changed the world that much more. But what if we viewed Pride season as a time for reflection, too?
It has been said of many modern movements that “we stand upon the shoulders of giants.” This rings particularly true for the LGBTQA+ community. As difficult as our struggle is today, we would have little to work with without the help of those that came before us. We know the names of some—Harvey Milk and Harry Hay, and even Chris Gonzalez and Jeff Werner here in Indiana. But what about others, persons that gave all they had? What about those who had lifetimes taken from them?
LGBT suicides and hate crimes are making headlines in a way they never have before. This epidemic is the greatest tragedy our movement has seen in many years. This Pride season, Try Modern would like to make a special call to the entire community—to the entire world. This June, while we celebrate all we’ve achieved as a movement, we have to pause. We must take a moment and honor our fallen. Those we have lost, young and old, have made the ultimate sacrifice. They are the new giants that we stand upon, and we owe it to them to be proud.
For the casualties in our often-tormented community this year — Jeffrey Fehr, EricJames Borges, Phillip Parker, Rafael Morelos, Miranda Campbell, Chris Beers, Kenneth Weishuhn, and the unknown — and the losses our community has grieved in past years — Jamey Rodemeyer, Matthew Shepard, Sam Denham, to name a few — it is our desire for all Pride committees to include time for these lost lives each year. When attending Pride this month, ask your location’s host to pause the music/entertainment and dedicate 60 seconds to a moment of silence for these suicide and hate crime victims.
We are a strong community, we are a proud community, and we can be a sentimental community, too.