Astoria Pride 2024

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Dear Pride Community,

As we sit here and write this, we do so out of concern for all of us in this community, the healing must start, and Pride month is the way to start it! Part of the appeal of Pride is that all are welcome to be themselves. To dress up, dance, party, hold hands, kiss, and perhaps find the love of their life. UP Rainbow Pride explains it succinctly: "Pride is unconditional love, the belief that everyone should be free to celebrate their identity, regardless of race, gender, sex, sexual orientation, education, religion, disability, financial or familial status."

Everyone has an identity, and, at Pride, everyone is free to express it - straight allies included. Yes, nowadays it's not uncommon for Pride to look like any other joyous street fair with parents, grandparents, and children in strollers. Although, with perhaps a few more rainbow Speedos than your average farmer's market. But that is what freedom of expression is about. It does not, and should not, come with the judgment of a dress code.

This week as we start Pride Month, Pride has been described as somewhere to freely express our sexuality. Pair that with terms like sexual orientation and sexual preference, and who would be to blame to think that Pride is all about sex? This is where history is important. The Stonewall Riots and those early Pride marches were about politics. Our constitutionally protected freedoms and our personhood. Freedom to assemble, freedom of speech, freedom to contribute to society peacefully and productively, and freedom to love.

For some all of this is lost in a desire to cast a negative shadow on what should be a positive coming together for us all! We are all human and at the end of the day that is the most important message not who we love or how we dress or identify but the fact we are all human and should support each other not only during Pride month but all year long! To spread negative opinions and vibes about one another is the opposite of what pride is all about and how can we as a community expect others to be tolerant of us if we cannot be tolerant of each other. You may not agree with some members of the community or call them friends, but they are still your community family and after all is that not what family is?

We have two strong Queer organizations in our community and the time has come to be proud of that and rejoice in how lucky we are and not try to tear each other down! Most people in our community want this very thing and for unity to take the place of resentment, members of our community are ready to turn away because they believe love is more important than hate.

We ask one thing that we all ask ourselves this “Would I want to be treated the way I am treating all of the others in my community?”. Please try to be part of the change and let go of the hate and hard feelings they will not serve our community or each other they will only feed the fire of hate that is currently taking our country by storm, and after all we are so lucky to live in this great community that shows acceptance and understanding to everyone.

Remember divided we are vulnerable, but united we are unstoppable!

In Love & Pride, Astoria Pride

sponsored by: d/c collectables

Pride throught the Northwest!

240 11th street, astoria, or 5 03.468.0620 thur-sat 12 to 5pm, sun 11 to 4 contemporary works I M O G E N GALLERY

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