Action comes in many forms. Sometimes it comes from a rabble rousing Rowdy Citizen like Mark Snyder who is angry enough and courageous enough to stand up and let his voice be heard. It seems agreed by many that equality for all walks of humanity should be expected here in America, yet sadly our laws are currently interpreted to allow fundamental rights to be denied because of your sexuality or sexual identity and even voted away by ballot. One thing most groups and private citizens alike can agree is that the peaceful teachings and leadership of Gandhi and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were effective and widely accepted as the right way to bring about change. Now enters the next generation and the new Civil Rights Struggle: GLBT Equality. What methods are best to break through to others and help bring about the change we wish to see in the world?
The Pride Parade started back in 1970 as a response to the Stonewall Riots. Over time our anger at the unfair and unethical treatment of the GLBT community has lessened as our inclusion has increased, but we should never forget our past for as we have seen recently that inclusion can be taken away. The 40th anniversary of the Boston Pride Parade gives us an opportunity to remember the sacrifices of yesterday, remember both the triumphs and trials of today, while keeping alive Harvey Milk's message of hope for the future. In light of our recent struggles in CA and ME I believe the theme should be a well thought response that brings light to all these things while maintaining its positivity.
"Ohana" is a Hawaiian word that means "Family", but also inclusion; no one left behind. This is the theme I have submitted to the BostonPride.org committee, and here are some of the many reasons:
-Family is often the strongest of relationships, and many people agree that you cannot turn your back on family; we all must somehow learn to live together in at least tolerance of our differences.
-Our opposition has been successful using children as a divisive tool to scare the uninformed public and strip our rights from us. "Ohana" also reminds people that GLBT families have children of their own.
-Hawaii was the first of states that tried to bring marriage as a civil right to same sex couples, and using "Ohana" references their pioneering struggle in 1993 where same sex marriage was legal for all of one day.
-Obama was born in Hawaii, he knows the meaning of the word "Ohana", and the message will not go unnoticed, bringing his eye back to our struggles where we need it.
-On December 7, 1942 the treachery of our enemies was known throughout the world, yet their act of hate unified America. That unity made us unbeatable. December 7 is shared with the GLBT community where in 2005 Massachusetts certified the petition attempt to remove same sex marriage rights, clearing the way for citizens to vote away the equal rights of other fellow citizens all across America.
-Using "Ohana" as the Pride Parade Theme can be a powerfully positive peaceful way to lead by example and include those in the moderate middle who are not against us. By putting out our hand in a gesture of friendship and inclusion in spite of our losses at the polls we may effectively dispel negative stereotypes against us while forming new friendships that lead to stronger alliances with straight allies. They say love can conquer all. Our fight is about love, so why not use our love for our neighbors as a way of dispelling the hate used against us? We have seen how it can change the world, why not now?
Please take a moment to consider what you think of this theme and if you support it please let the Pride Committee know: