“When You Know Better, Do Better”: Reflections on Pride Month
You have to give them hope. Hope for a better world, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better place to come to if the pressures at home are too great. Hope that all will be alright. Without hope, not only are the gays, but the blacks, the seniors, the handicapped, the ‘us-es.’ The ‘us-es’ will give up.
—Harvey Milk, speaking at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade, June 25, 1978
After the year we’ve had, Pride will never be the same. And that’s a good thing.
Look, we love Pride month. Always have, always will. But for many people in our community, Pride has never felt very welcoming. It’s supposed to be about inclusion and acceptance, but in practice, it has often failed to embrace all aspects of the LGBTQ+ experience.
It matters because we’re not equal until everyone’s equal. It matters because some members of the LGBTQ+ community are more vulnerable than ever, with more trans people murdered in 2020 than in any year on record (the majority of them Black and Latinx transgender women). And it matters because the whole point of Pride is to stand up together and claim our rightful place in the world, no matter how we look, live, or love.
As Maya Angelou said, “when you know better, do better.” That’s why Pride feels a little different in 2021—informed by a greater awareness of how far we’ve come, and how far we need to go.
The first Pride march in New York City, 1970:
Now more than ever, we take Pride in the resilience and diversity of our community. We take Pride in our shared visibility. We take Pride in our history, and in the heroes who forged a path for the rest of us. We take Pride in the allies who’ve stood by our side. We take Pride in the opportunity to become allies for others. And we take Pride in the next generation of doers and dreamers who are helping us know better, do better, and be better.
If you’re looking for a way to show your pride while supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our local community, check out this year’s Pride collection. We’re donating 20% of all Pride T-shirt proceeds to the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Center—an indispensable resource located just down the block.
Andrew + Clark
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