Tag Archives: pride

A More Perfect Union

Towards a More Perfect Union

So I haven’t lived in the US for about 16 years now, but today’s majority decision from the US Supreme Court that recognised marriage equality in all 50 states still has great meaning to me. It has meaning to me not only because it means that I don’t have to worry about residency if, as a member of the LGBT community, I were to get married and return to the US (I could live where I please and where the opportunities are best). Rather, it has significance because it affirmed something that I intrinsically knew and which was reinforced by my family: love is love.

I grew up in a diverse household as a child of an inter-racial couple. And to them, love was love. Growing up in that household, I had no reason to believe anything else. One loved whom they loved regardless of whether their skin color was light or dark, whether their hair was straight or curly, whether their noses were slim or broad. Love wasn’t about external outward appearances, but about the inner connection two people felt towards each other. Perhaps in hindsight, I realise now that I had the fortune to have that principle as my guidepost. That in my most formative years, love was blind to such things as race.

As I grew up and I started to hear perspectives of the world around me, I learned that there were points of view held by some people which believed that some kinds of love were inferior, somehow wrong, to be seen as breaking with years of established tradition regarding marriage so as to be somehow invalid. That some of the relationships I had seen over course of my life were viewed so negatively by others was beyond my desire or need to understand. Because at the end of the day, I always carried with me an understanding that love is love.

So to look at my diverse family today – in terms of race, sexuality, and gender identity – I can’t help but wonder why some people just don’t get that love is love? Why is it so hard to think that many in the LGBT community would choose to express their commitment to their love through forming a lifelong bond with each other vis a vis marriage? And as long as they show commitment and dedication to their love, who are any of us individually to deny them that right and that privilege? To deprive LGBT couples their of dignity, humanity, and the benefits that come with pledging themselves to lifelong companionship and commitment? To believe that what is enjoyed by a majority shouldn’t be available equally to all?

When I think back to my parents and what they would have had to endure as an inter-racial couple, I have only admiration that they loved openly and followed their hearts because they must have known what some of us only now understand – love is love. In my lifetime I can envision a future where my nieces and nephews can be their authentic selves, however that manifests itself, and know a fundamental truth should they end up finding that one person whom they want to spend the rest of their lives with in matrimony – love is love.

When I think about love, and what it means, I come back to this quote by Thomas A Kempis:

“Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse of impossibility; for it thinks all things lawful for itself, and all things possible.”

The majority opinion of the U.S. Supreme courts affirms what we have known throughout our enlightened humanity: love is love. And in affirming this fundamental truth, the US joins a growing chorus of nations, and in doing so goes surging forward towards a more perfect union. Today, it was so ordered.

London Pride here I come!

So this year I will be visiting the Pride Parade for London

2013-06-28 London Pride PhotoIt will be bittersweet because it will be the last time I march in the Pride Parade with IBM (now my former employer). But as always, it is great fun to participate in Pride and march in the parade. To me being visible is important. And the more of us that are visible, the easier to becomes for others to be visible.

It will also be nice to see friends again in London 🙂

I’ll be taking pics from the day to build into this blog. In the meantime everyone have fun and have a good weekend when you get that far!

So it was all about Stockholm Pride last weekend

Pride Flags

After my original plans fell through at the last minute to go and visit some friends around Europe this weekend, the focus of the week and the weekend was about Stockholm Pride.

This was one of the more interesting Stockholm Pride experiences that I had. This year I decided against all-things-Pride-all-of-the-time and just decided to focus on a couple of events. This year that was Schlager night on Thursday at Pride Park, as well as my participation in the parade on Saturday, and some celebrating in the evening.

The Thursday night Schlager night was notable less for the performances, but more for the company that I was with. It was cool to be at the Cafe Opera tent with friends and acquaintences and socialise with people who were just chilled out and relaxed. After the Schlager night, we went to Cafe Opera courtesy of Micke and Daniel (THANKS!) and had a great time. I can’t remember dancing so much on a Thursday in a long time.

On Saturday I joined Moderaterna in the parade. Yes that’s right, the conservative political party was in the parade. I am continually grateful to be welcomed to participate by politician and personal friend Tomas Tobé. Actually, most of the political parties were in the parade directly or represented through their alliances. And it says a lot about the openness and appreciate of diversity in Sweden that the political parties actually look forward to being in the parade. Moderaterna in particular (the lead party in power) does an  outstanding job of to driving the home to importance of inclusion at every level of government. Every year at least one of the high-ranking party members joins in the parade and walks. This year it was the Mrs. Filippa Reinfeldt, who is the wife of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, along with one of her daughters. Literally 1,5 meters away from me. So I considered it to be a treat and a honor march with a party who country’s first lady and daughter show such open support for GLBT citizens. So participating and dancing along to great music, seeing friends in the crowd, and feeling good the whole way made for a great Saturday afternoon. I really highly recommend that everyone go in the parade – it is even more fun than watching it! And at least in Sweden, Pride is not about who get naked and acts the most outrageous. It is an fun environment where people of all ages (from children to adults) line to streets to watch and support. Some dancing along with you on the streets, clapping and cheering from windows, or just watching and wondering. It’s all okay no matter what. What I like to think is that what is most important, is that people see us and visibile and comfortable with who we are. And the response from the crowds in the parade showed societal acceptance and support. I wish it could be that way in the US. We have a long long way to go.

On Saturday night I went to a pre-party and then we went to Cafe Opera (just the regular section) and Zipper and had a great time. And here I must give a shout out to Gregory for being fantastic to hang out with during the night (and for the bravery of biking back to his house from the club without killing himself…I cheated and took a taxi back to my house). Sunday was spent relaxing and recovering and as I was thinking over how my Pride week had gone, I feel like it is was one of the best Pride Weeks ever. I simultaneous look forward to the possibilities next year as well as have a little fear that I won’t know how to top how great this year was 🙂

Stockholm Pride 2009

For those of you interested, here are some pictures from Stockholm Pride. I was in the parade this year along with the cool guys and girls from Moderaterna .

Below for those accessing from the internet are the photos in a widget:

For those accessing from Facebook, here is the link to the pictures: