Why You Should Attend A Rural Pride Event This Year

A rerun of last year’s column…

New York Pride?
Check.

San Diego, Seattle, Vancouver, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco, Boston, Portland, Kansas City, Dallas, L.A., Denver, Philly?
Double check.

Bisbee, Anchorage, Bozeman, Wichita, Boise, Flagstaff?
Well, uh….

I know, not exactly the top of the list for most of you. Many of us actively fled rural life to get to urban safety. I get that- I was one of them. For a while, anyway. But I want you to consider going to a gay pride event in an out-of the-way place this summer.

Click for schedule!

Why? Because we need you.

LGBT people live in rural America. We work here, go to school, own property, pay taxes, raise families, attend churches, shop and donate to charity. We don’t have a lot of gay bars, LGBT sports clubs, drag shows and neighborhoods where we can hold hands with our partners. Nonetheless, we live here. We love here. We have friends and families here.

Sometimes we do it under a great deal of stress.

I work with a lot of LGBT persons who have really good reasons for living in rural America. We don’t get a lot of support. Far too often, the strongest reason to leave is to find a greater sense of community. Sometimes, that is the only reason- the driving reason, that makes them pack up the car and head to Denver or Seattle or Portland.

Creating community in a small town isn’t always easy. There are a lot of obstacles to overcome- fear, shame, stigma- all the old tapes. We don’t have a large pool of organizers, and often the same people are the ones organizing every event. Burnout is common. Sometimes we just need some encouragement.

And that’s where you come in.

The fight for LGBT Equality is not going to be won in the cities. It’s already mostly won there. It’s going to be won in small-town America, where people need to see gay people as human, normal and neighbors- not just some characters on television. It’s going to be won when the lady who runs the local Holiday Inn meets real-live lesbians and finds them to be just like any other guests. When the casual onlooker comes to the parade to see “freaks” and walks away disappointed, when he sees families and friends laughing and cheering. When a bi kid is accepted and loved instead of encouraged to “get off the fence”. When locals see their gay neighbors in the light of day, paying our own way, as deserving of love, respect and commitment as anyone else. When drag shows and AIDS charity events are just as normal and accepted as karaoke, rodeo and the county fair. When  our rural and small-town legislators, see us simply as citizens with the same rights as every other constituent. When kids don’t say “gay” as an epithet of scorn and derision.

When we are seen as part of a larger community. That’s when full equality will happen.

We need your encouragement to continue the struggle for that equality. It can be pretty lonely out here, sometimes. And I’ve come to believe that, as important as the work in the cities is, those who work to improve the lives of LGBT persons in rural America are the real heroes. The drag queens in Butte or Bisby may not be as glamorous as the Key West queens, but they’re certainly just as brave- braver even.  The HIV activist in Anchorage has just as many concerns as the activist in Atlanta. We want to know you have our backs when we’re working to educate legislators and local politicians and school boards and businesses. We want to know that it’s okay to stay here, even when it’s hard.

We need you.

So look up a rural Pride event this summer. Go to it. Let us know you support us. Clap at the little parade, dance in a barn, make out with a hot cowboy, cowgirl and/or farmer, encourage a teen, hug a drag queen, listen to an elder, give money to a PFLAG chapter. Just go- we need you.

Because you need us, too.

Infographic: Fitness

I’m enjoying the current trend of infographics- they’re like filmstrips- only digital.

Here’s one on fitness that Ken recommended to me because I’ve been having a hard time keeping a regular workout schedule (Click pic for larger):

The Anatomy of a Fitness Routine - Vibram Five Fingers

Can’t talk. I’m off to the gym. For my birthday.

New Scooby Mix For Summer!

Just in time for summer!  From my friend DJ Scooby:

Hi everyone – Just want to let you know that I uploaded my new continuous mix…

You can listen to it on Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/djscoobynyc/chasing-the-sun-2012

Or download as an MP3 file: http://www.mediafire.com/?ih44sxnmcegfznl

Or song-by-song: http://www.mediafire.com/?gik3bnkfmbo05

If you’re interested in seeing the playlist (or checking out my prior mixes), go to my blog: http://djscoobynyc.blogspot.com/

I love these mixes to workout or just for jamming in the car. Free downloads-check them out!

You’re Invited

Come together to celebrate Pride Foundation’s
impact on Montana’s equality movement!
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Partners in Pride Buffet Dinner
Saturday, June 16, 2012
5:30 – 7:30 PM

 

Hosted by
Tom Marsh, Greg Smith, and Ken Spencer
Montana State University
Student Union Building | Room 168
Donations accepted but never required!

Please RSVP by Thursday, June 14 by texting or calling Pride Foundation’s Regional Development Organizer in Montana, Caitlin Copple at 546.7017 or by emailing caitlin@pridefoundation.org.
 


Founded in 1985, Pride Foundation inspires a culture of generosity that connects and strengthens Northwest organizations, leaders, and students who are creating LGBTQ equality in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington State.
Visit www.pridefoundation.org for more information.
 Pride Foundation’s mailing address in Montana is P.O. Box 7456 Missoula, MT 59807  

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Montana Pride 2012 Schedule Revealed!

Click for schedule!

Rep David Howard: Bad Speller, Homophobe

Rep David Howard (R, Park City), notorious bad speller and apostrophe misuser  has done it again- used Facebook to bash the gays, and highlight his horrible spelling and punctuation:

Sigh.

His Facebook page is like that creationism amusement park in Kentucky- not a fact in sight.

Breakfast With Openly Gay Candidates And Officials During Pride

Join Montana Women Vote and Pride Foundation
for this special event during Pride Weekend in Bozeman.
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Breakfast Mixer with Openly
LGBTQ Elected Officials and Candidates
Learn more about openly LGBTQ people and allies running for office. Get informed on the issues facing our community in 2012!

Saturday, June 16, 2012
8:00 – 9:00 AM

 

Sponsored by
Pride Foundation and Montana Women Vote
 at Nova Café

Donations accepted but never required!

Please RSVP by Thursday, June 14 by texting or calling Pride Foundation’s Regional Development Organizer in Montana, Caitlin Copple at 546.7017 or by emailing caitlin@pridefoundation.org.
 


Founded in 1985, Pride Foundation inspires a culture of generosity that connects and strengthens Northwest organizations, leaders, and students who are creating LGBTQ equality in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington State.
Visit www.pridefoundation.org for more information.
 Pride Foundation’s mailing address in Montana is P.O. Box 7456 Missoula, MT 59807  

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