I noted recently in the Dec. 4 edition of the Mirror that there was a letter from Ms. Patricia Conant, decrying the decision of the mayor to fly the pride flag during June 2020, at City Hall. I applaud the mayor’s decision, and therefore disagree with the statements of Ms. Conant.
Ms. Conant believes that our “city, state and national flags…represent uniting traditions and values for all of us.” Sadly, the national flag of the USA is not currently a symbol of unification under the current administration.
President Donald Trump has done almost everything possible to divide Americans against each other as he spews out his xenophobic, racist, and misogynistic views, while insulting and demeaning individuals, from teenagers to adults and the disabled in his speeches, or on Twitter.
On the other hand, to me, pride, and the pride flag, have always signaled an unconditional acceptance of each person as a human being of worth, and of love.
For the last 17 years of my 49-year life in Seattle I lived in “the gayborhood” on Capitol Hill, and I found that neighborhood to be a place of true acceptance, courtesy and kindness. My gay neighbors in an adjoining townhouse were the best neighbors I’ve ever had, and some of my longest friendships were acquired there.
At the same time, I often heard horror stories of friends who were reviled for their sexual difference, who were disinherited by parents, shunned by families, or spoken of as “sinners” in fundamentalist churches and homes.
I think it’s time we all turned the page, with the recognition that human beings come in a variety of shapes and forms, rather than some cookie-cutter ideal set forth 2,000 years ago by white male patriarchs who authored or edited “The Bible.” We should embrace the idea that the human variant is not just heterosexual male or female, but a continuum of sexual responses. And viva la difference!
I look forward with joy to Pride 2020 because pride signals inclusiveness in a community, and it sends the right message to any queer Federal Way youth (or adult) – that you are worthy, lovable and that we embrace you!