|My First Gay Disco|
|Me, fourth from left - Pride Day|
My Gay Pride speech, June 1987
Don't Hide Gay Pride - 1987
I am not entirely comfortable either as a leader or a follower. I guess the most comfortable place for me is to be walking side-by-side, hand-in-hand, with others on this journey. So standing up here alone is a bit scary.
I am privileged today to speak to this very special gathering of people who are courageous as well as proud. We are a community of persons who will no longer "hide our pride", but who will stand together visibly, publicly, openly, proudly proclaiming our strength as well as our rights, our dignity as well as our political agenda.
This has been a year which has seen a tremendous growth in solidarity in the gay/lesbian communities throughout the state. The tremendous efforts of a number of dedicated individuals, and the visible, financial and moral support of lesbians and gay men brought the cause of Civil Rights to the legislature and to the consciousness of the citizens of Connecticut. The cooperation among our political, religious, health, social and business organizations continues to bring us together, whether to hold candles in the night or to celebrate our sense of gay Pride in ever increasing numbers.
If I had to choose one thing that opens the closets of fear and isolation and contributes to a sense of Lesbian and Gay Pride, it is sheer numbers. I still remember the exhilaration I felt when I went to a Festival-sponsored event, "Putting on the Rizt" at (local) College, more than two years ago. Being new to Gay life at the time, my reaction to that gathering of what had to be at least three-hundred beautiful men and women was: "My God, where did they all come from?" I don't think I had ever felt less alone or more affirmed until I went to Gay Pride Day in New York City that summer.
So, our being here today is a powerful message to all our brothers and sisters who are hiding the pride that they may not have yet even experienced. Our numbers, our presence here today loudly proclaims to all who are isolated and fearful: "You are not alone."
Our presence here today loudly proclaims our firm conviction that it is no longer OK to deny us employment, or housing,or public accommodation. It has Never been OK. It is no longer OK for local radio DJ's to tell offensive "gay jokes". It has Never been OK. It is no longer OK for our Church leaders to judge us "objectively disordered" or "intrinsically evil". It has Never been OK.
These insults to our pride can no longer be tolerated. These tactics designed to keep us in our closets will no longer work - because WE ARE OUT, WE ARE HERE, WE ARE PROUD and we are loudly proclaiming to all our sisters and brothers: "Don't Hide Gay Pride!"
|Pride Day 198?|
A mixed adult/youth excursion. We took several members of the Youth Group to NYC Pride on a school bus that we rented and a with a 20 year-old "youth" bus driver. When I think of it now - no special insurance, no parents' signed permission slips, crossing state lines, no organizational sanction - how great it was!
|I'm Sure Our Trip To NYC With |
The Youth Group Came Close To Breaking
Laws In Two States
|Me, Leon, Bob at AIDS Quilt in DC|
|Me, left on the Gay Bowling Team|
|Hector, Me, Fr. R, Robin, Unknown, Fr. J, and B. at March on Washington|
|Demonstrations come with Eye-Candy|
|March on Washington|