For the third year in a row, President Obama has declared June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.
The story of America’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community is the story of our fathers and sons, our mothers and daughters, and our friends and neighbors who continue the task of making our country a more perfect Union. It is a story about the struggle to realize the great American promise that all people can live with dignity and fairness under the law. Each June, we commemorate the courageous individuals who have fought to achieve this promise for LGBT Americans, and we rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
For me, June has represented gay pride for as long as I can remember; it’s the traditional month for cities to host their Pride parades and it just seems like the world gets a little more queer for one special month each year. It doesn’t hurt that my birthday falls in late June and tends to overlap the Pride festivities in St. Louis. That last week of the month morphs into this epic, weekend long birthday party and celebration of an important part of who I am as a gay man.
This year, it’s important for me—as a representative and co-founder of SEX+STL—to bring that queer focus to our blog here. All month long I’m going to be writing about gay issues and featuring a series of guest posts about LGBTQ issues. If you’re interested in writing a guest post for the SEX+STL blog about a queer issue, drop me a comment here or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m hoping to feature guest posts from a diverse cast of people; the queer experience in America isn’t a singular experience. Our lives are as different and varied as those of any other community, so much so that the word community is a weak word to wrap lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and trangendered folk into.
Next Sunday, I’m hosting our monthly coffee talk at Shameless Grounds with Special Guest DJ Kaiser, our very own Mr. Missouri Leather 2011. (Check out my interview with DJ from last January.) Our focus will be on discussing labels and what they mean for our various communities. While this is an important topic for the LGBTQ community, this discussion isn’t limited to the queer—sexual politics and gay rights are intertwined with the sexual and personal rights of all people. I’m hoping we’ll see people from all walks of life attend.
SEX+STL will also be marching in the St. Louis Gay Pride Parade. I’ve never marched in the Pride parade before, but I’m looking forward to it. If you’re interested in marching with us, check out this post. It’s an exciting chance to bring our message of unity and openness to a very public crowd.
On a last note, I thought I’d share this wonderful recruitment ad for Toronto’s gay rugby league, Muddy York RFC: