by Ben Winslow
As I write this, people are gathering on Capitol Hill for another day of demonstrations. People are speaking out, sharing their struggles and pain of oppression and systemic inequality, and getting support from allies as they push for societal change. Reflecting back on the history of the modern LGBTQ+ civil rights movement, there are a lot of similarities here.
I tell your stories and report at an arm’s length on many of these issues, so it’s a little uncomfortable for me to share my feelings or thoughts on the “Pride” season. Like a lot of you, my journey to self-acceptance and living authentically as a gay man is a long one, with no finish line.
Pride is believing in yourself, knowing that you have value and worth, and knowing that you belong here. Sometimes you have to remind yourself of that fact constantly. Sometimes you find that reminder among your friends, co-workers, chosen family, and even with total strangers in the community.
There’s no parade or festival this year to have a public affirmation of Pride (thanks, COVID-19!). We are in times where we feel more distant and disconnected than ever before, even on a Zoom call with 40 other people. But when the parade has passed by and the party’s over, there’s still a community we’re in and we have a shared humanity.
Today, it’s my turn to remind our community: You belong here. Oh, and stay safe, wash your hands, wear a face mask when social distancing is not possible, make sure you’re registered to vote, and don’t be afraid to contact your lawmakers on issues that are important to you!
Ben Winslow is a multi-platform journalist for FOX 13 News, breaking news on a number of platforms. He has covered some of Utah’s biggest news stories in a 20-year journalism career working for newspaper, radio, television, and digital mediums.