Saturday Surprise — Pride Month – Part II

Earlier, I posted a bit of the history of Pride Month* in the U.S., and as I mentioned there, I had not intended to take up all my space with history.Β  So, in this post, I want to take a different direction, show some of the many ways the month is celebrated, people who have been prominent in bringing LGBTQ issues to the forefront, pictures, etc.

One of the things I found most fun takes place at the London Zoo.Β  You might remember last October when, in another Saturday Surprise post, I wrote about Sphen and Magic, two same-sex penguins in Sydney, Australia, who were given a baby penguin to raise.Β Β Β Well, the London Zoo has its own celebrity couple, Ronnie and Reggie.gay-penguinsTo celebrate the pair and similar animal couples, the zoo plans to give a “Pride makeover” to its Zoo Night event on July 5. In addition to regularly scheduled Zoo Night festivities, the zoo will teach about gender, mating and same-sex animal pairings.

Like Sphen and Magic, Ronnie and Reggie adopted an egg that was abandoned by another couple, sharing parenting duties of their chick Kyton until he fledged the nest. Though their baby is now grown, Ronnie and Reggie are still going strong and are often found snuggling in their nest box. The zoo is home to 93 penguins total, and Ronnie and Reggie are not the only same-sex couple. πŸ‘

How β€˜bout a beer?Β  The makers of Bud Light are very LGBTQ-friendly, and for two decades have partnered with GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation).Β  This year, they’ve done something pretty cool to honour the LGBTQ community.Β  Take a look …Pride-month-bud-light.jpgBud Light will sell rainbow-colored aluminum bottles in bars nationwide from May 27 to June 30 and donate to GLAAD $1 from each case sold.Β  πŸ‘

Across the pond, Prince William visited AKT (The Albert Kennedy Trust), an LGBTQ youth and homeless charity, on Wednesday. When asked how he’d feel if his children came out as LGBTQ, the Duke of Cambridge said it would be “obviously absolutely fine by me” and that he’d “support whatever decision they make.” Β Β 

And, not to be outdone, his younger brother Harry, proud new papa, and his wife Meghan posted a collage of photos …Pride-month-Prince-Harry.jpg… and finished with β€œWe stand with you and support you 🌈 Because it’s very simple: love is love.β€πŸ‘

Pride-turbanThis is Jiwandeep Kohli, a Sikh man from San Diego.Β  Earlier this month, he posted this picture on Twitter, and the response was overwhelming … it garnered nearly 152,000 likes, and was re-tweeted more than 21,000 times, including once by none other than President Obama!!!Β  πŸ‘

How about a few noteworthy wins for the LGBTQ community over the past year:Β  South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg was praised for celebrating his presidential run with his husband; Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage; GLAAD’s annual Studio Responsibility Index found a 5.4 percent uptick in characters identified as LGBTQ in films from major studios; Vice’s Broadly created a free, gender-inclusive stock photo library; the US elected its first lesbian Native American ex-MMA fighter to Congress; a GLAAD report found a “record high percentage of LGBTQ characters on broadcast TV;” and Queer Eye was renewed for not one but TWO more seasons. πŸ‘ πŸ‘ πŸ‘ πŸ‘ πŸ‘

CNN has done a nice piece highlighting six LGBTQ activists:Β  Billie Jean King, Harvey Milk, Marsha P. Johnson, Audre Lorde, Larry Kramer, and RuPaul Charles.Β  Of these, I had only heard of the first two, but the piece is well worth a read, for these six people have been key players in the fight for LGBTQ rights.Β  And on a personal note, if you have never seen the film Milk, starring Sean Penn, now is the time.Β  I am not a fan of Mr. Penn, but I saw this movie several years ago, and … I promise you will love Harvey Milk, and you will need a box of tissues.Β  At least check it out, and also the piece by CNN.Β  Β  πŸ‘

Pride Month is not only celebrated in the U.S., but β€˜round the world.Β  Here are a few of the international celebrations …Pride-month-Zurich.jpgZurich Pride Festival, Switzerland (June 14 -15): This Pride actually lasts two weeks, from June 1 to 16th, culminating in Switzerland’s largest city’s Pride Festival, a weekend of concerts, vendors, dance parties, and a parade. This year’s theme is Strength in Diversity.

Pride-month-Sao-Paolo.jpgSao Paulo Pride Parade, Brazil (June 23): The first Sao Paulo Pride Parade took place in 1997 when 2,000 LGBTQ activists gathered to celebrate their culture and protest against discrimination. The event has since become the largest Pride Parade in the world, with 5 million attendants in 2017.

Pride-month-Cologne.jpgCologne Pride Parade, Germany: Every year on the first weekend of July, Cologne holds a Christopher Street Day celebration, named for the New York neighborhood where the Pride movement began. The weekend features a street festival, political events, AIDS gala, and stage performances, culminating in a parade with over a million attendees and participants.

Pride-month-San-Francisco.jpgOutFest, Los Angeles: Every July, Los Angeles hosts one of the world’s largest LGBTQ film festivals, screening movies that share LGBTQ stories and highlight queer filmmakers. OutFest has recently placed the spotlight on underrepresented voices, featuring more directors that are women, trans, and people of color.

Pride-month-women-building.jpgThe Women’s Building in San Francisco has housed a variety of community organizations, including a food bank and a street youth group. It’s where a memorial service was held for Harvey Milk, the first openly gay member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, who was assassinated in 1978.

Pride-month-Amsterdam.jpgCanal Pride Festival, Amsterdam: Pride in the Dutch capital is as amazing as you’d expect from the home of the Red Light District and the first country to legalize gay marriage. Milkshake Festival, an outdoor dance festival dedicated to inclusivity and acceptance, kicks off the opening weekend of Canal Pride. As the week continues, there are street parties, a Drag Queen Olympics, and a unique Pride Parade that floats down the city’s canals.

There is much, much more I could write, but time and space are limited.Β  Sadly, in this, the 21st century, LBGTQ people, like women, Latinos, African-Americans, Muslims and others are seeing an uptick in discrimination, in the bigotry that has no logical explanation.Β  It’s been a long hard fight, progress was being made, and suddenly some element in our society decided that they are, somehow, superior.Β  They are not.Β  ‘Nuff said.

To all my friends who are part of the LGBTQ community … HUGE hugs and I love you all!!!

*Β Β I included a link to ‘Part I’, as there was some mix-up on the scheduling and some of you who get my posts via email may not have been able to access the post.

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27 thoughts on “Saturday Surprise — Pride Month – Part II

  1. Jill, well done. You know, one of Sean Penn’s best performances was of Harvey Milk. I love Kahli getting so much retweets. Sikh’s are very tolerant folks. I saw David’s comments. It saddens me when Evangelical Christians look past the inclusive teachings of Jesus to focus on scriptures that are less such. About 45% of Christians, from a survey a few years back, believe every word in the bible is true. Inherent biases of the day are built therein. So, in my view, we should focus on the larger bibilical lessons and stop trying to denigrate people who love or look differently. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Keith! This was a fun post to do … much happier than my usual fare. Yes, I just downloaded “Milk” to watch again, for I haven’t seen it in years, and it was an excellent movie, at least in my eyes. Sigh. I used to try to point out logic and reason to those who swore every word of the bible was completely true, and eventually I gave up. I find the evangelicals to be mentally exhausting, for they profess to follow a religion that is based on love, and yet them apply it with hatred, arrogance and bigotry. I have a very pragmatic mind and need to see the logic … when it comes to hating a person because of who they love, or the colour of their skin … I just find no logic, I just don’t get it.

      Like

  2. Great post!
    I hate that the US is so eat up with the religious right wing nutcases and the hatred and bigotry they spew. Makes me embarrassed to be an American.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Mary!!! It was a fun post to do … rather uplifting! I fully agree with you … I’m ready to denounce my citizenship … let the bigots have the country, since they have already ruined it. I’ll go find me a small desert island if no other country wants me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I wish this Christian Evangelist nastiness towards gayness would disappear.and they would realise it’s perfectly natural for people born that way.They don’tr suddenly morph into demons when they realise which way their sexual direction points. They do good in the world and bring joy to the world just like everyone else. They deserve to be appreciated just like everyone else.The Evangelists have it wrong, Evangelism is the abomination that the world needs protection from.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 8 people

    • Agree.

      As someone who used to have a viewpoint similar to Evangelicals when it came to same-sex marriage and anything LGBTQ+, I must say that my decision to choose love over hate is one of the best decisions of my life. It’s a decision that has vastly improved multiple lives and quite possibly saved at least one life. Thankfully for me, love eventually won, even if it took awhile. And because love won with me, others won too.

      I will finish off with a thought for those who are believers (and I don’t know if you are, so if not, apologies): God is love. Therefore, when we make room for love, we make room for God, too.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Two thumbs up to you, Brendan, for having an open mind and listening, thinking, and eventually changing your thoughts and beliefs. The world needs more people like you! Love over hate wins in my book every time. Compassion over cruelty. Acceptance over bigotry.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I’m with you, dear friend … I have come to see religion as the core 95% of all the evil in the world today. In this country, it is the evangelicals who profess to follow a doctrine based on love, but instead they practice hatred. They instill a fear of ‘other’, a hatred of anyone who dares to be a bit different than they are. Sigh. It’s long past time to put an end to this madness, but I think we both know it isn’t going to happen. If anything, it’s gaining momentum. πŸ˜₯

      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈

    You know, some of the nicest people I meet are gay. I think it is that they have the strength of male attributes, and the caring of female attributes. I think it would be great to have gay leaders in our governments… Can you imagine? Countries might compete for most attractive and successful, but they certainly wouldn’t be pressing the buttons of war, hate and conflict.
    🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈

    Liked by 3 people

    • In the best of all possible worlds, nobody would notice or care if a person were gay, black, atheist, missing an arm or their teeth. But, we in the Western world have become such shallow and superficial beings that these things matter to far too many people. The root of all evil, in my view, is religion that tells people to fear ‘other’, that cautions them against associating or even tolerating he who is ‘different’ in any way. Sick of this world, I am.

      Liked by 1 person

      • To quote ‘Yoda, ‘ “Sick of the nastiness in the world, you are! The world’s a sad state, it is! But love the good bits, you must! The light, you must be Jill, so the dark Lord Darth Vader and his like…. Beaten the are! Use the force Jill, rattle your light saber🌈 and defeat them, you will! ”

        Like

  5. A buck a case is something, but I’m sure Budweiser can do a helluva lot better. The bottles are nice.
    The initials are quite short considering what people have come up with lately, but they still point the way.
    Kinda late, but HAPPY PRIDE MONTH everyone. Sorry I don’t have multi-cloured lettering.

    Liked by 5 people

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