Generations of Pride: What Does Pride Mean, Then and Now?
June 1, 2013
Dab Garner; Wilton Manors, Fla.
While I met my first boyfriend in 1977, I did not attend a Pride event until I went to meet him in San Francisco in June of 1979 for one of the largest Pride events in our country.
Gay men were holding hands, kissing and enjoying the celebration of being who they were. Not living in hiding like they did where I lived in Florida. I was like a kid at Disney World for the first time.
Seeing that I was raised in a military, Southern, Catholic family, it was the first time I really felt OK about being gay.
Unfortunately, the next couple of years would bring many trials and tribulations. After I moved to San Francisco to live with my partner in 1980, I also had my best friend and then my first partner lose their battle with AIDS in 1981 before being diagnosed myself in February of 1982.
Luckily, we now have lifesaving HIV medications, AIDS service organizations, activists, HIV publications and other services. But every now and then I think back to the time when Pride meant being there for each other when a person was losing their battle with AIDS and we knew we only had each other to depend on as it was happening.
Comment by: Mike
(Santa Fe, NM)
Sat., Jun. 29, 2013 at 10:29 am EDT
What does it mean, then and now? Well, according to the Huffington Post (no less)"Between 2008 and 2010 new (AIDS)infection rose 12 percent for gay men while falling or remaining stable in all other populations. Then our president goes on a tenth of a billion dollar trip to Africa to lecture them about how great the U.S. for now recognizing gay marriage (when he himself did NOT until about two days ago. He was politely rebuffed. Afterall, that continent had 1.3 of the 1.7 million AIDS deaths worldwide in 2011.
Comment by: Maria
(San Pablo, CA)
Thu., Jun. 27, 2013 at 4:32 pm EDT
The first time was a great feeling for me and not all of it was great but I know everyone has a right to express themselves as they please. I am looking forward to this year and hope it is a memorable one. I hope everyone enjoys it and those who cause trouble stay away this year but I know that won't happen so I will just enjoy myself with my soon to be wife and family. Have fun everyone and be safe.
Comment by: Steve Marlatt
Wed., Jun. 26, 2013 at 11:18 am EDT
I didn't know who I was for 20 years, I hid who I was for another ten years. 30 years of not growing as a person because I was afraid. Marching down Santa Monica Blvd during Pride Parade was liberating. I am a person; I count.
Comment by: Ed Barron
(New York City)
Mon., Jun. 17, 2013 at 10:24 pm EDT
I always viewed Pride as a March more than a parade. Yes we celebrate our freedom, but it is also a time for me to reflect on where we came from and how difficult a struggle it has been. I attended my first Pride In 1973 as a junior in high school. It was my first true exposure to how diverse a community we are. As a result I became more comfortable with who I was and realized I could be anything I wish to be. I thank our predecessors for having the courage to stand up and be counted so I could roller blade down 5th avenue in a chiffon dress if I wanted to. The freedom I have today is a direct result of those brave ones who came before me.It took a long time for me to be able to find my voice and carry on with what was started back at the Stonewall Inn. I fight for the same equal rights that those drags did in 1969. Without them I would probably still be forced to live in a closet with the doors shut so tight that I could barely breath. So I march or roller blade or what ever I want to do because I have more freedom because of their efforts. And work towards achieving EQUAL RIGHTS.
Comment by: Maria
Fri., Jun. 14, 2013 at 11:51 am EDT
I have to say, I was pretty disappointed by this article. Only one women, of FIFTEEN people? Seriously? You couldn't find ANY other women to speak about their experiences? This is why people who identify as female feel alienated by pride events, and the LGBT community in general.
Comment by: Susan
Wed., Jun. 19, 2013 at 12:28 pm EDT Amen! I was going to write the exact same thing. Honestly, there are just as many lesbians out there as gay men.
Comment by: Maria
Wed., Jun. 26, 2013 at 5:34 pm EDT and not only with our Lesbian community!! but many lesbians with HIV like myself..I cant do it alone and we need to come out of the HIV closet
love and light
Comment by: brandy
Fri., Jun. 7, 2013 at 2:30 pm EDT
We cant wait to come out to gay pride this year i missed last year so its going to be a great time.im also going to bring friends that have never been so have fun everyone.be safe
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