For me, it isn’t Christmas until I’ve seen the Grinch. I don’t mean that trippy Jim Carrey version where he has to work through childhood trauma before the presents are returned. No, I mean the original where a Boris Karloff-voiced Grinch learns that Christmas came without ribbons, it came without tags, it came without packages, boxes or bags.
I think the lessons Grinch learned will serve us well as we all face the reality that Pride is — at best — postponed. But it’ll come. It will come without twinks, it will come without dykes, it will come without bear cubs, daddies or drinks. Pride, my friends, lives in our hearts. Pride will always be so long as we have we.
A few weeks ago, I watched as the usually professional and demure Anderson Cooper failed to hold in his emotions as he announced to the world that he had become a dad. He said that growing up, he believed being a gay man meant he would never be a father. He expressed his gratitude for changing attitudes and to those who led the way.
As his baby blues looked directly at me, I felt proud that Kelly, the boys and I played an indirect role in making that happen for Cooper. Our family — every happy, average family with an LGBTQ+ parent or parents — helped make that proud moment.
And we should be proud that our community’s decades-long demands for equality and acceptance have led to celebrities, like Cooper, being out and proud. Those efforts have resulted in a lesbian and a bisexual woman serving in the U.S. Senate and seven gay or lesbian members of the U.S. House. Colorado’s governor is gay, and Oregon’s is a bisexual woman, and then there was this mayor from South Bend, Indiana who won the Iowa Democratic Caucuses.
But pride isn’t just found in the historic. Every irritating argument about homework, every exasperating reminder to pick the damn towel up off the bathroom floor, every sleepless night worrying about the boys’ futures makes me proud. Every time another gay dad or lesbian mom posts some achievement of their kid on social media, I feel proud — pride in our community. It doesn’t matter whether it’s June or January, Pride isn’t seasonal.
So, in this Summer without Pride, I challenge all of us to find the Pride in ourselves, in our community, and in those who have our collective backs.
Be proud of the fourth-grader in Utah County who faced bullying from a substitute teacher because he dared to be grateful for his upcoming adoption by two dads. And be equally proud of the three girls in his class who stood up to the teacher and brought a stop to the abuse.
Be proud — and supportive — of the lesbian next door celebrating another year of sobriety. Be just as proud of the 60-year-old guy finally coming out, as you are of the high schooler who never had to be in the closet anyway. Be proud of this community’s strength, diversity, and progress. Be proud that you are a part of it, and together we are always better. We share our setbacks, but we also share our victories.
Pride, my friends, isn’t the warmth of June. It isn’t a fun-filled parade. It isn’t the shirtless hunks or the Mormon moms. Pride comes from within our hearts; Pride is us.
As the great Dr. Seuss may have said: Welcome Pride, bring your cheer. Cheer to all queers far and near. Pride is within our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp. Pride will always be, just as long as we have we.