- June 2022
Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me.
Zora Neale Hurston
Europe saw the very worst and the very best of the Pride experience yesterday.
In Norway, a gunman killed two people and wounded 21 at a gay bar in the capital city of Oslo. The alleged shooter was a 42-year-old Norwegian citizen of Iranian origin. He's believed to be a radicalized Islamist with a history of mental illness, and had been on authorities' radar since 2015.
Apparently he fell plum off.
On the advice of police, the Pride parade was cancelled. But several thousand people marched spontaneously, waving rainbow flags and chanting in English, "We're here, we're queer, we won't disappear."
Kudos to them for their defiance. As to chanting in English, perhaps the sentiment isn't as catchy in Norwegian.
The prime minister and members of the royal family laid roses near the bar. Crown Prince Haakon told reporters, "We must protect the right in Norway to love whomever we want."
I'm an anti-royalist, but I feel a sudden urge to curtsy.
Over in the Polish capital city of Warsaw, thousands marched in the Equality Parade, reportedly the largest queer event in central Europe. Joining the Polish paraders were hundreds of Ukrainians, representing LGBTQ organizations from around that besieged nation.
The joint Pride was a marvelous show of queer solidarity across borders—and a reminder of what will happen to the Ukrainian LGBTQ community if the Kremlin wins this war.
Pride was born of struggle years ago in New York City. In Europe in 2022, there's still plenty of struggle to be had. If you attended a Pride this month and your greatest difficulty was choosing an outfit, please keep a thought for our compatriots, abroad and here in the States. We all hope for the day when, in every part of the world, a Pride struggle means nothing more taxing than trying to avoid your ex.
I'm a 58-year-old lesbian. An IKEA bookcase has a better chance of getting pregnant than I do.
Nonetheless, for many reasons, today's overturning of Roe v. Wade means I'm about to join the battle for reproductive rights.
The spirit's willing, even if the body's cranky.
The gay Log Cabin Republicans are very upset that Texas Repubs have kicked them out of the party. The Log Cabin folks have issued the statement, "But we're bigoted, lying idiots too! We love Trump! We hate ourselves! We're like Ted Cruz only with bowties! Isn't that enough?"
I can't call it a Pride miracle, but it definitely qualifies as a Pride surprise.
My brother and his wife, while supportive of me, have always been reticent to take on the role of ally to the queer community. Yesterday my sister-in-law, who works for Bank of America, sent me a photo of the two of them at a Pride in New Hampshire, wearing rainbow Bank of America t-shirts.
You could've knocked me over with a deposit slip.
In Saudi Arabia, the government is chasing rainbows.
The Saudi Commerce Ministry recently posted a video on Twitter showing its employees in stores, hot on the trail of rainbow-hued clothes and toys.
The government says rainbow colors evoke the Pride flag and promote homosexuality in children.
That is, of course, exactly how a gay person is created. Hand a three-year-old boy a rainbow teddy bear and rest assured that by 10 he'll be sewing it Joan Crawford's waitress outfit from "Mildred Pierce."
The Commerce Ministry's super sleuths comb through stores, seizing and confiscating "products that contain symbols and signs that call for aberration and contradict correct nature," according to the Twitter post. Retail establishments caught with aberration-pushing hats and backpacks are penalized.
A TV reporter followed some of these courageous hunters of rainbows through what appears to be a mall in the capital city of Riyadh. Everything they took from a store sat in a pile on the floor, a sad rainbow mound. "It indirectly promotes homosexuality," a ministry official declared of one item, while a voice-over decreed the toys "are nothing but poisoned messages that target the innocence of children."
If Saudi officials believe that playing with a rainbow fidget toy will make a child homosexual, do they believe playing Chinese checkers on a hexagram-shaped board will make a child Jewish?
In America, everybody is, but some are more than others.
Source: The Book of Gay & Lesbian Quotations
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