Critical Dharma for Thinking Minds
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, all outdoor Pride parades and festivals in North America have been cancelled through September. Instead, we are celebrating Pride at Home, in our livng rooms, and yes, our bedrooms. I call this Intimate Pride. We celebrate Pride in a way that reveals what we often do not show at Pride events: our ordinary lives at home, and our intimate relationships. I watched Lady Gaga’s online fundraaising festival, One World Togehter at Home, which raised money for frontline workers in the pandemic. The festival featured some of the biggest stars in the music business, no less than herself, Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, Oprah Winfrey, and many others. What was remarkable to me about this festival was that all the video was broadcast from people’s homes, from their living rooms. The setting at home was so humbling. You got to see these stars as they really are, just human beings. And yes, many stars are wealthy and live in homes more luxurious than ours. But nonetheless, seeing people in their own homes revealed just how vulnerable, human and ordinary they are. In this year’s Pride at Home events, we reveal our intimate lives to each other and the world.
At the same time, during this pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement has taken over the streets of our cities, building tremendous energy and power to push for Black civil rights, to protect Black lives, and to end police brutality. All Pride events in North America have been cancelled, but in some cities, such as Los Angeles, the Pride committees have turned over the space for outdoor Pride events to the queer Black Lives Matter movement, to queer Black, Indigenous and People of Color. The Pride Parade in Los Angeles is called All Black Lives Matter, to make it clear to everyone that queer and trans Black and BIPOC lives matter as much as white queer and straight and cisgender Black lives. All Black Lives Matter has marched triumphantly down the streets of our major cities, proclaiming pride for all of us in the queer community.