Pride matters

Stonewall Alliance’s weekend of festivities should be a celebrated by the whole community

Stonewall Alliance Center’s Chico Pride Weekend has never been more important for our local LGBT community than it is today. The three-day celebration starting on Friday (Aug. 19) includes dancing, music, film, food and drink, and a festival at City Plaza.

But it should be a big weekend for everyone, not just the members of the LGBT community. We’re all in this together, and if we truly want to progress as a society and break down barriers based on our differences, we should all show up to show our support. Stonewall’s annual festivities provide a chance to celebrate how far we’ve come as a whole. Case in point: Just a couple of years ago, federal marriage equality seemed like a pipe dream. Locally, the Chico Police Department is sending a strong message by participating in the annual event.

In short, we’ve made a lot of gains nationally and in our backyard. That signals that Pride matters.

Not that 2016 has been free of bigotry. Make no mistake—there’s still a lot of hate out there. LGBT people across the country still face widespread discrimination and are disproportionately victims of violence. Indeed, this year’s Chico Pride Weekend comes in the wake of the Orlando massacre in a gay nightclub, the deadliest attack by a single shooter in the nation’s modern history (see Evan Tuchinsky’s story on page 8).

We all have reasons to celebrate and mourn. That’s why this year, especially, we’d like to encourage everyone to participate in the festivities and stand together with your friends, family members, co-workers and neighbors.

Let’s party.