Photo courtesy Gary Halvorson Oregon State Archives
Letter from the Chair
Dear Douglas County Democrats, Friends and Neighbors,
As many of you know, June is “Pride Month” in the United States. This month is meant to recognize LGBTQ+ individuals, advocates and allies for the tremendous impact they have had on history in the United States. To commemorate this month, Mark Lenihan, President of PFLAG Roseburg (and wonderful husband of Alana, DPDC’s Vice Chair), has written the following missive on “What is Pride”:
“In my work with the LGBTQ+ community, I often hear “What is Pride” or “Why do we have a Pride month?” Before I answer that, let me first establish what Pride is not. Pride is not, as was once said to me by a group that I had applied for a grant from, a “chance for people to get together and dance around as they celebrate their sexuality” nor is it an “attempt to shove perverted sexual choices in the public’s face”. It is also not an appropriate occasion for non-LGBTQ+ individuals to suddenly come out of the woodwork and declare themselves “allies” to be a part of “the show”.
Ok, so having established what Pride is not, let’s address exactly what Pride is.
First, Pride is an anniversary remembrance. On June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, in New York City. Stonewall had been targeted before by police raids many times, but patrons were usually forewarned as to when a raid was going to occur. This time, they were not. As Stonewall’s patrons were being arrested and placed in paddy wagons, one patron began to fight back and encouraged others to do so as well. Thus began the Stonewall Riots, which lasted six days, and established the historical beginning of the fight for LGBTQ+ rights.
Second, Pride is an opportunity for the LGBTQ+ community to come together to celebrate the strength and resiliency that they have displayed in the past and to renew their commitment to never go back to the way things were. It is a time to remember those individuals of the community that have been lost due to continued persecution and to build up those members of the community that may be struggling. It is a time to realize that, while steps forward in the fight for equality have been made, the fight for full equality is far from over.
Third, Pride is an opportunity to show those members of the LGBTQ+ community who are still “in the closet” that they are not alone, that there is a community of LGBTQ+ individuals, as well as true allies, that are there to help them, support them, and love them.”
—————————————————————————————————————-Thank you to Mark for all he does to support the PFLAG Community. And thank you to those who strive to make the world a better place for all to live and thrive.
Remember, DPDC is always looking for more volunteers. You can sign up on line at: douglasdemocrats.net under Get Involved. Or stop into the DPDC Office at: 742 S.E. Cass Ave., Roseburg, OR 97470. We are presently open Monday through Friday 10 am to 2 pm. Donations are always needed and welcome.
Choose Courage, Connie Page, DPDC Chair