Let's Be Absolutely Clear: Here at ElderPride #BlackLivesMatter

"Black Lives Matter. Agree or disagree; just don't change the subject."

- Rev. Andriette Earl


Happy Pride from Rev. Jack

Beloveds. June is Pride Month. We celebrate our milestones, breakthroughs and lift up our heroes and sheroes.

Freedom is ours in new in once unimaginable ways.  However, this month we are called to do what we do so well: March! Protest! and Advocate!..

We are caled called advocate and protest. not for ourselves, but for our Black allies, and our Black LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters.

We have a moral responsibility to lock arms and stand in unity with them, now more than ever.

If we do not actively, vocally, and boldly stand for freedom and justice for everyone, then we do not value our own freedom.  #BlackLivesmatter. - Rev. Jack


Remembering James Baldwin

"Ignorance allied with power,
is the most ferocious enemy
enemy that justice can have."


- James Baldwin

Bio of a LGBTQ+ Hero
James Baldwin (1924-1987) American writer and activist.


Baldwin was born the in Harlem, New York and was the eldest of nine children. As a youth Baldwin was verbally abused by his stepfather who often referred to him as the “ugliest child he had ever seen.” Baldwin attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, where he felt what he described as the “stigma of being Negro”. After graduating high school he worked a series of low paying jobs to support his siblings. As a youth Baldwin began to feel stifled by being both an African American in a racist society, and a gay man in the homophobic African American community. In 1948 at the age of 24 Baldwin decided to move to France to escape his unfortunate predicaments.  While in France Baldwin became an avid writer and poet. With the encouragement and constant support of his best friend and lover Lucien Happersberger, he was able to publish a number of poems and novels. In 1956, Baldwin’s novel Giovanni’s Room, which told the story of a white man torn between his love for a man and a woman, brought him critical acclaim as a powerful American writer. Baldwin’s greatest influence on the life of his times stemmed from his numerous essay collections: Notes of a Native Son (1955), Nobody Knows My Name (1960), and The Fire Next Time (1963). Aside from literature, Baldwin was against the Vietnam War and an outspoken advocate of Gay and Lesbian Rights. He also made valuable contributions to the African American Civil Rights Movement.


"We're very good in this country at telling other people how to behave and act - but we still discriminate on the basis of the color of skin. That is the simple truth."
                              - Andrew Cuomo

If you are saying: “This is not who we are!” You are contributing to the problem. This IS who were are and have been for 400+ years. We must own this truth if we are to ever BE who we are meant to be. We must change, atone and seek forgiveness for pretending not to see what was all around us. #blacklivesmatter


The question du jour is “how can we celebrate Pride month when Black folks are in pain”?


By Kiki


6/19/2020 marked the largest Juneteenth celebration in its 155 year history.  Individuals and corporations used the holiday to celebrate black lives and cultures, acknowledge white privilege, and to call for an end to racism and police brutality.


The Emancipation Proclamation freeing enslaved Africans went into effect on January 1, 1863, many folks did not know about it.   Some folks in Texas learned about it when it was read on 6/19/1865 in Galveston, Texas and the first Juneteenth celebration began.


The 13th Amendment abolishing slavery went into effect 12/18/1865 and that is when other folks knew they were free.  It was a process still is.


There is a quote about freeing more slaves if only they knew they were slaves that has been falsely attributed to Harriet Tubman.  The reality of freedom is that many folks did not know of any status other than their enslavement.


On July 13, 2013 Black Lives Matter was founded by three Black Queer Women:  Alicia Garza, Patrice Cullors, and Opal Tometi.  The hashtag #BlackLivesMatter was first used in social media after George Zimmerman was acquitted of killing Trayvon Martin.


It’s now 2020 and in a short period of time we have witnessed via social media the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Armaud Arbery, Tony McDade and others.


We also witnessed the emergence of “Karen” using her white privilege to threaten to call the police on Christian Cooper, a black man and bird watcher,  and others simply for being Black and Brown.


Sometimes one cannot drive, shop, jog, sleep, or simply be Black without being perceived to be a threat by folks in privilege and or power.


In the midst of this come celebrations, protests, demonstrations, marches, rallies, and calls for justice, reform, an end to racism, and an examination and acknowledgement of privileges.


Freedom is also a process, I am reminded of the lyrics from “Someday we’ll all be free” by Donnie Hathaway:  “take it from me, someday we will all be free”.


That’s what we want, “a world that works for everyone”.


We are here, we are Queer, we are Black and Brown and Proud.  We deserve joy and to celebrate our victories and freedom while still acknowledging the wounds of racism and police brutality that need light shedded on them, love, and healing.


And so it is.

Above all else: BE YOU!