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It is always a bit difficult for me to get into the mood of Pride Month. It has nothing to do with the concept itself. It has everything to do with the fact that our weekend for Palm Springs Pride is the first weekend of November. However, as Volunteer Coordinator, rest assured that the work and planning processes are already underway.
Our collective motivations are all over the place. Some come for the parties. Some come for the sense of community. Some come for the entertainment. Some come just to have a beautiful day in the sun and see what all is going on. In other words, something for everyone.
Since I have organizing work to do over the weekend, I usually don’t get to see as much as I would like. That’s OK because I feel that there is a higher purpose. For the first 2 years that I participated, I did information tables for the trans organization where I was a board member. I was always so impressed when people would seek us out to ask how they could support their child, a relative, a friend or a co-worker. Sometimes parents would come with their kids. Also, trans people would stop by to ask what resources were available for mental health services, medical services, employment or housing. I tend to bounce back and forth between introvert and extrovert. After 4 or 5 hours of these discussions, I would be exhausted but to paraphrase the late Congressman John Lewis, it was “Good Exhaustion”. That was Saturday and we’d get up on Sunday and do it all over again.
In 2018 I was asked to join the Pride team and I have been doing that ever since. I don’t have as much personal contact as I used to, but that’s OK. 2 thoughts come to mind:
- Virtually everyone that I come in contact with is so happy to be there, participate and enjoy the sights and sounds of all that is happening. It’s like there is an afterglow that lasts well beyond the 1st weekend of November.
- It empowers me to know that my being out is a data point for those who cannot be out due to family, marriage or employment related consequences. We have to respect the choices that people make because we are looking from the outside, in. When you are on the inside looking out, the perspective is likely very different.
In 2017 I had the experience of riding in our Pride Parade. I had never ridden in any parade before. The organization where I was a board member was chosen as the Organization of the Year and I was asked to represent. Such a fantastic feeling to see and hear all the people cheering and waving! Last year I submitted the photo to LGBTQ Nation for their Pride in Pictures series and it was accepted:
So, please tell us about your thoughts and experiences related to Pride!
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