Gay Life Volume 33, Number 12
While I hope you enjoy all of the amazing photos we have from Pride weekend 2011 (p.12), I also recommend international news (p.8) where you can check in on Pride festivals and parades in other parts of the world. While equality is a global struggle, different countries and cultures face varying degrees of opposition amidst different cultural contexts. It can be fascinating to learn about how in other countries—some very different from our own— there are people in similar plights, striving for the same basic human freedoms.
I certainly had some preconceived notions about Ireland before I visited the country last week. In learning about their struggle for independence from Protestant England, I assumed the largely Catholic Republic of Ireland would be mostly opposed to gay rights; but I found no such evidence. In fact, I found a civil marriage ad in a popular commuter train in Dublin and, far from the urban capital, local women in a pub on the Dingle Peninsula espoused fervent support for their gay children—before even knowing my involvement with the cause back in the States.
Here in Baltimore, we have a lot to be proud of—including how successfully we come together every year. While I was sad to miss Pride 2011, I was glad to have one of my assumptions about Ireland corrected. Others were spot on—they serve excellent tea, great beer, and the country definitely lives up to its green reputation, an obvious result of the abundant rain. But even the rain was beautiful in this country—it was the kind that came in stormy bursts both preceded and followed by sunshine. I’m reminded that the fiercest storms can create the most beautiful rainbows.