Time to dust off the gowns, primp the wigs and don a smile, Gay PRIDE in Dayton is here. This year, our little town has upped the gay agenda, and created a full plate of fun, frivolity and freedom. It is the latter that really matters, and the reason we ALL should celebrate…even YOU! At the core of Gay PRIDE lies the American battle-cry, “And Justice For All.” Although what you might see on the streets is at times a bit confusing, the mission isn’t. Gay PRIDE celebrates self-expression, personal freedom and a great victory over discrimination.
You should attend and join the hijinks. Consider this, the gay culture has had an unusual set of struggles in its quest for equality. Living a ‘closeted’ life was the expectation in the early 70’s. Of course, that changed with the ‘shotglass heard round the world,’ kicking off a series of acts of resistance. Coming out of the closet, along with the beads, bangles and bustiers told the world “I can look and be whatever the hell I want to be.” Through a strong sense of irreverence and a great deal of self-expression, the drag culture began its symbolic rise in the gay community. This year, Dayton’s own RubiGirls will be the headliners on Friday evening, representing the silliness and the sincerity of helping others through humor. Their show will take place at Courthouse Square around 8:00pm on Friday, June 3rd. The Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus start things off around 6:00pm. AND DON’T MISS this 0.5 mile…..yes 0.5K bar crawl in Dayton’s historic ‘Froot Loop’ a collection of Dayton’s Best Gay and Gay friendly Bars!
You should care and support the community. Think about this, in the late 60’s LGBT Americans were not allowed to congregate for fear of what might happen. This week, you will see LGBT citizens and their supporters not only congregating but marching together to tell the world, ‘We are better together than apart!’ The annual parade steps off at noon from Cooper Park, with Grand Marshall Phil Wise, who was part of the start of the LGBT Center 40 years ago, and ends at Courthouse Square, where the crowds wait anxiously for the festivities to begin! Before the parade, make sure you get breakfast at MJ’s Cafe on Jefferson around 9am. New this year will be an area called ‘Rainbow Land,’ and a car show for motor enthusiasts.
You should celebrate and be entertained! Keep in mind, although gay marriage is now legal in the USA, much remains to be done. The game is not over, and the race to equality is not complete. Sunday, June 5th, our beloved PFLAG chapter is sponsoring a 5k PRIDE run at Welcome Park behind Welcome Stadium. The run/walk begins at 10am. It doesn’t end there, as the first-ever “Spike and Heels” round robin kickball tournament takes place, featuring beer and food trucks! This event is also at Welcome Park.
YOU ARE US! Gay PRIDE is now steep in history, and part of the American landscape. Nearly all major cities in the United States block off streets, line the sidewalks and join the victory lap of Gay Americans. Side by side, we are all in this together. Discrimination loses yet again and harmony takes its place on the proverbial stage!
Someday, another group will need our help in breaking down barriers, achieving protection, and opening minds. When that day comes, I’m sure we will see each other….at their parade!
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