Happy Gay Pride Kansas City! And across the world!
We are celebrating over fifty years since that day a bar full of drag queens and butch dykes decided enough was enough and said, “No more!” and fought back. We are still fighting today. But we’ve come so far.
From an article from The Pitch magazine:
In 1978, when KC saw its first gay-pride event, being out and proud in this town wasn’t easy. Gay bars were still routinely raided by the cops, and Westport’s Redhead Lounge maintained a back-door entrance that could be used by schoolteachers, who could be fired if they were seen entering a venue that catered to homosexuals.
By 1984, the festival had become a half-hearted carnival in the parking lot behind the since-razed Dover Fox saloon, at 43rd Street and Main. There might have been 100 people there, and the event lasted just three hours.
2013’s Pride event in Westport, the first to be presented by the nonprofit Kansas City Diversity Coalition, attracted about 1,000 people over two days, according to estimates by several participants.
Or maybe 10 times that many people showed up? Some estimates said as many as 10,000.
…club owner and restaurateur John Koop ran Show Me Pride, which ran the festivals from 2000 through 2008. Koop says the 2007 event, in Penn Valley Park, had a budget of $200,000 and attracted 40,000 visitors.
I don’t know what attendance is now that the Gay Pride Festival has been moved to the Waterfront Park, but it is still wonderful to see so many prideful gay people.
Some people complain that Gay Pride events have forgotten about community and have become more about a big party.
But that is okay with me. I am so happy that I am allowed to party and celebrate. That isn’t what is happening in Russia right now!
And having gay pride doesn’t mean the event, right? It’s about standing up and being proud of who I am. I can say to you, “Happy Gay Pride!”
I am thrilled to see how far Humanity has come. Yes we have a long way to go….but to imagine how set in stone we were for thousands of years…and how far we’ve come in so many ways in fifty years is pretty incredible. For gays, the differently abled, women, children, diversification, transgender people and so much more.
Remember that what we can concieve, we recieve. Don’t be angry today. Celebrate today (or whenever). Focus on the lack and that is what you will see, lack. Focus on the good and more good will come.
And that is what I am choosing in my heart to celebrate.
I’m legally married!
I am out at work!
I am out as a gay romance writer!
Yes indeed, “Happy Gay Pride everyone!”
I hope you look back years from now and remember this year’s Pride as a wonderful and powerful month! That maybe changed your whole life!
BG “Ben” Thomas