Monday, June 30, 2008

SC Black Pride 2008 - we shook up the state

Forgive me for taking an interlude from the daily grind of focusing on the anti-gay industry.

I would like to brag a little bit today.

My state celebrated our third annual Black Pride last week and it was a monster success with over 1,000 in attendance.

From our opening ceremonies (where Columbia Mayor Bob Coble presented us a proclamation) to our awards banquet, each event was heavily attended. We received a lot of attention, positive comments, and contacts.

Most of all, lgbt South Carolinians of color went away empowered.

One thing I liked about this year was the support we received from the lgbt community at large.

Our events were not only attended by African-American gays and lesbians, but folks from other ethnicities. And there was none of that nonsense about black gays "segregating" ourselves.

So many times in the past whenever I heard lgbts ask why is there a need for a Black Pride, I would have to let them know that they sound like heterosexuals asking why is there a need for a gay pride.

I think that our community is starting to realize that while we are all lgbt, our experiences and cultures when it comes to dealing with our orientations are different. And the fact of the matter is that sometimes lgbts of color have no sense of our sexual orientation because we rarely see anything that lets us know that we are a part of the community.

But not last week.

All in all, it was worth all of the work members of the SC Black Pride Committee (including my humble self) put in to make this pride a success. It was worth the long meetings, the phone conversations, the fundraisers that didn't work, the calls to vendors, the emails, and all of the seemingly miniscule but nonetheless important elements for putting together a pride.

It was worth it to see so many lgbts of color gathered together publicly and openly without fear of reprisal; no tension, no cliques, no trying to hide their affection for their prospective partners, and no pretentions about trying "not to look gay."

There was nothing but unity and love in the air.

And that's how it's supposed to be.