Pride Month 2017: Be Proud
Today kicks off Pride Month, a celebration of diversity in the LGBTQ communities. Over the years, cities across the globe host events, parades, film screenings, and outreach to increase understanding, and awareness, to the general community. It's somewhat similar to Black History Month or Women's Month although have become more commercialized over the years (how about those MLK napkins!), but have an important, and valid place in society.
Photograph: Jamie Thrower, Studio XIII Photography
Unfortunately this year feels like there isn't much to have pride for. People of every spectrum are losing rights and being cornered by the few, the wealthy, the powerful. Women are under attack for basically having a uterus (and therefore they are a preexisting condition to medical care). Muslims are under attack because they're supposedly crazy people out to kill every man, woman, and child out there. Forget that 99.9% are pretty normal people who happen to have some crazy extremists (I assume we forgot about the 1300s when Catholics went to war to destroy countries turning away from The Vatican or Christians disenfranchising Jews or, pick a war?).
Poor people are under attack for being, well poor. They're lazy, right? And any gay or queer person has no right to be married because it "offends" people and the state of being married. Because somehow the happiness of marriage is predicated on other people's ability to get married - and by other, that's LGBTQ people (forget those rapist-child marriages, that is evidently perfectly acceptable to people).
I am a pretty straight Indian woman. Apart from being brown and Hindu and female, most of rights are equal to my husband, a straight white man (although he's an immigrant, mon dieu!). No one has even told me what I cannot do or who I should marry or if I am even allowed to be married. I have, lived a well privileged life. You might be wondering why then, The Big Fat Indian Wedding gets excited every year for Pride Month, or squees with delight when a same sex wedding submission hits our inbox.
Our reasoning is simple.
We believe consenting adults have the right to make their own decisions about the state of their life, liberty, happiness, and love. It's not our business to police people on whom they should marry, or where they should come from, what god(s) they worship, or what gender they must be. And the reason this is not our business, is because no one has the right to tell you (a consenting adult) with whom should you spend your life. Your neighbor's life is not being made any less miserable because your boyfriend/girlfriend/transfriend is sleeping in bed with you. That 40 foot unpermitted gazebo could piss off neighbors, but what you do in the bedroom is your business.
Second, we don't like stupidity. And ignorance. We seriously don't like them. And this whole business of people freaking out and demanding others be stripped of rights because "God said so", or "It makes my marriage less valuable" is absolute horseshit. If you're so freaked about two men getting married and it fucking up your marriage, then you better be more freaked out that rapists can marry minors and the courts (and parents) find it A-OK. The latter folks, is seriously fucked up and needs to stop. If your value of marriage is determined by other people's choices, then you have devalued the meaning of marriage itself.
This year, 2017, is important. Nothing can be taken for granted. Every one of us needs to lend a helping hand to someone else. Whether you donate money or give in kind, do something. Do something to make someone's life BETTER, not worse. Do some mental housecleaning and decide if you want to live your routed in controlling to make yourself feel better, or you want to live your life knowing someone got a helping hand, and that was you.
Over here at the blog, we'll be sharing several same sex Indian weddings this month and revisiting our past ones. We welcome stories and weddings from you, lovely reader, to share as well. Just use the contact form and tell us what you want to write about.
Photo: Preeti Moberg.
We might talk about all things pretty about weddings, but marriage is a pillar of society, ancient and modern. Strong partners create strong home which create safe homes for the next generation to thrive (and to be honest, you don't need a two person household, a single parent is able to be amazing too). Men or women, it doesn't matter; it is respect, trust, and empathy that makes all the difference.