No sooner had I written about celebrating Pride Month, when I hear about the violent protests that erupted at a school board meeting last night in Glendale, California. Demonstrators clashed and fights erupted before a scheduled vote on recognizing June as Pride Month….something the school board had already done for the last four years.
We hear many such stories as these on the news. I’ve come to expect them from Florida, Iowa, or America’s “Bible Belt” states, but this was in predominantly “liberal” Southern California. I lived in Glendale for 14 years. This riot was only a few blocks from my old gym.
For the life of me, I can’t understand why the issue of mere pride is interpreted as such a threat. No one’s trying to recruit or convert anyone. (How ironic it is to suggest gays and lesbians could possibly support sexual “conversion” of any kind!) It’s merely trying to express support to a group that has for too long been horribly treated and marginalized.
Even if you’re uncomfortable with the thought of the LGBTQ+ community (and yes, one has the right to their own opinions), you can’t force people to pretend they don’t exist, nor expect them to remain silent. Especially when you consider that over 60% of suicide attempts are among LGBTQ+ people.
Whenever we discuss sensitive topics, especially those that provoke strong feelings and widely differentiating opinions, I can only hope that both sides practice empathy and understanding.