Pride – Welcoming Authenticity in a Rapidly Changing Culture
Around the world, the LGBTQ+ community and their loved ones — families, friends, coworkers — are hosting events, gathering together (virtually and in-person), and celebrating all expressions of community.
When folks gather they gather for many reasons. Pride is several things: a protest, a memorial, and a celebration.
Pride is Protest. When folks in the LGBTQ+ community express their authentic selves they live a life of protest — protesting the impact of societal norms that reinforce heteronormativity, harmful masculinity, and patriarchy. The lives of our LGBTQ+ siblings invite all of us to examine our own beliefs.
Pride is Memorial. We memorialize the past so we don’t forget what has happened to our siblings. We remember those lost in the violence of hate crimes, the silencing of transgender voices, the impact of the HIV/AIDS crisis on communities. We remember those who are not safe and are in harm’s way every day simply because they are living out a life they know and believe to be true and real.
Pride is Celebration. Together we celebrate the fullness of humanness in gender expression, romantic inclination and sexual orientation. It is both the grandeur of a parade and the simplicity of a rainbow patch on a jacket; it is that flag outside a church, and the ability to hold hands in public; all without fear, and all with joy.
All of us are on a journey of discovery, growth, and becoming.
Ubuntu is an African term that describes a new vision of humanity. Here is how Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu describes Ubuntu:
“It is the essence of being human. It speaks of the fact that my humanity is caught up and is inextricably bound up in yours. I am human because I belong. It speaks about wholeness, it speaks about compassion. A person with Ubuntu is welcoming, hospitable, warm and generous, willing to share. Such people are open and available to others, willing to be vulnerable, affirming of others, do not feel threatened that others are able and good, for they have a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that they belong in a greater whole. They know that they are diminished when others are humiliated, diminished when others are oppressed, diminished when others are treated as if they were less than who they are. The quality of Ubuntu gives people resilience, enabling them to survive and emerge still human despite all efforts to dehumanize them.”
My humanity is caught up and is inextricably bound up in yours. I am human because I belong.
Let us live, feel and be together in Ubuntu.
Bruce Cryer, President & Carrie E. Neal, Chief Operating Officer