Why is WorldPride important? Because when we celebrate, it makes us visible. It also helps focus the diversity of our community. And it helps influence the opinions of others when we’re seeking equality and understanding.
I am a proud gay man. And proud to be part of a diverse pioneering mix of older queer men.
My soul, my viewpoint, my sexuality, my lifestyle, my spirituality, and my humanity all inhabit my physical body.
Together they define me as gay.
Emotionally I feel part of something bigger, something that started local, went national, and then international. I may be a mere speck in the mass of humanity, but I am that droplet of goodness and love and caring, that when combined with other such droplets, begins to form a larger pool, then a stream, a river, an ocean.
In past centuries being ‘homosexual’ often meant there were limited – and only illegal – avenues where you could find companionship with like-minds.
By comparison, look at us today – that outcast ‘homosexual’, that ‘deviant’, can now get married in 29 countries to a same-sex person. We can be openly active in politics, business, and the Arts. And where in most western countries at least, we can walk, work, make love, worship, and create families in a safe environment.
Let us embrace what WorldPride can do for creating an international and inclusive community that carries on what the pioneers of Mardi Gras began 45 years ago and what tens of thousands of us have achieved at the grassroots level of change.
Through this WorldPride celebration, I, for one, welcome the opportunity to be both visible as a presence and a light in those still dark corners of the world. I want to celebrate those huge and extraordinary opportunities that togetherness has already given us as a gay/queer community.
It’s not a perfect world, but WorldPride activities highlight that we’re proudly growing in stature, influence, numbers, and display. Let the world see us for who we proudly are – a worldwide community that can’t be ignored.