Thursday, March 15, 2012
Post by Ruth Michael Lindner
I remember standing among a crowd of happy, smiling faces at my first Pride Parade in 2006. The air buzzed with excitement as the masses of people, free to express themselves and who they loved, moved around. It was a beautiful day, not only because the sun was shining but because I felt so wholly at peace with who I am. I've been lucky, growing up around Albany, spending five years in New Paltz and then moving to New York City. I've also been lucky to have a family who never judged me or questioned whom I love.
I know this is not the case for everyone and this knowledge is part of the reason I wanted to intern with the Empire State Pride Agenda. The work they do to protect and honor the rights of all New Yorkers is magnificent. I think especially of marriage equality in New York. I'm surprised I didn't injure myself jumping off the couch with excitement when I heard the news. I tend to lose my major motor skills when something so profoundly moving occurs. I joke that my partner is "the rock to my roll" because she keeps me grounded and stable. Simply being comfortable enough to say, "my partner," and having protection from discrimination is something few could have fathomed a half a century ago.
Great strides have been made, but there are still a host of issues on the table. Those who know me say that I am a worrier, and while there are moments where the trail seems steep, I know that the LGBT community is strong enough to fight an uphill battle. My mother likes to remind me that in the "big picture" and the "grand scheme of things," changes are happening quickly. And they are. The fight for equality requires a myriad of different people, of varying ages, with different tactics for making change. I see so much beauty in the variety of people sharing this earth. Much like the memories of my first Pride Parade, the collage of people is colorful and vibrant, as it should be.
Working with the Pride Agenda has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. I've met people who work all over New York State for this cause, and I am looking forward to the upcoming Pride Agenda events. I know that whatever my future holds, fighting for the equality of the LGBT community will be a part of that.