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Taking Back Pride: Putting the Politics Back in Pride Parades

It’s that time of year. Pride is in the air around the world for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and ally community.  Parades, festivals, music, parties, shirtless boys, dykes on bikes, and more rainbows than you can shake your high heels at will abound in cities all over the country.

It is a time for celebration, for community, and for visibility.  Yet now, more than ever, LGBT Pride celebrations need be something more.  We need to put the politics back in Pride.

A grassroots effort to do just that has taken shape online.  The “Take Back Pride” movement is asking people to not only celebrate our community, but also educate and agitate as well.

Over the years, Pride celebrations have shifted from their earlier protest march forms to more celebratory parties as LGBT people have felt safer, come out of the closet, and been more visible in society.  Yet even as our parties grew larger, our legal rights and battles for equality have stalled, with major pieces of pro-LGBT legislation languishing in  congress. That’s why this year is the perfect time to take pride back to it’s roots and put the politics and protest back in.  The Take Back Pride movement is asking people to still celebrate, but to do something as simple as carrying a sign with the LGBT rights issue that means the most to you.  Want ENDA passed?  Help educate the community by starting conversations with Pride goers by carrying a sign.  Want DADT & DOMA repealed?  Make a shirt and talk about about it at Pride with your friends and the people around you.  As they say in their letter to the community:

This year, in light of the major battles we have ahead of us, we are asking for all of you to join us in taking back pride. While we have so much to be proud of in what we have accomplished as a community, this fight is far from over. We want our community to not only remember those who have fought and died before us, but to forge ahead in the struggle — so that our children may one day live truly free and equal lives in this country.

For Pride 2010, we ask that organizers and participants of marches around this great country take this opportunity to be heard. Yell. Scream. Chant. Wear your chaps and thongs, but carry a sign while you do it. Put on your most sequined ball gown, but shout for your rights as you flaunt your fabulousness. The sheer number of people who turn out in the streets this June will send a clear message around the world that we are not content with what we have. We are somebody. We deserve full equality.

The visibility that Pride provides is a powerful tool.  Every year news stations turn up to film the wild gays throwing their big party. This year, let’s show them we can not only celebrate how fabulous our community is, but how important our issues are.

I’m all for a big party.  But we have big issues that need to be addressed and could use the momentum that a big push at Pride could provide.  Imagine thousands of LGBT rights marches across the country pushing our issues.  That’s what Pride was and what it could be again.

So join the fight. Take Back Pride.  Make a difference as you celebrate.

You can follow the Take Back Pride movement on Twitter, Facebook, or on their website.

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