Feedback on Pride March
Re: ‘A Difference of A Pinion’
I was sorry but sadly not surprised to hear of the nastiness of some of the feedback that The Sheridan Press received for its coverage of the first ever pride march in Sheridan. When a group of us tried to get a nondiscrimination resolution passed by the city, much of the same nastiness bubbled up to the surface. Some of it on the city council.
An unfortunate truth of life in Sheridan is that there’s a significant portion of the population that is stuck in an earlier era when inequality was so ingrained in society that it went unspoken, and they like it that way. They are quick to celebrate America and wave the flag while simultaneously actively campaigning against the equality that the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution recognize as human right. They espouse the live and let live philosophy of “The Equality State” but what they mean is “as long as you look and believe as we do and don’t ask us to accept you for who you are, or make us see your identity, live and let live.”
And if you are different than them? If you love someone in a way that doesn’t fit in their narrow definition of what’s acceptable? If you have the audacity to declare that you believe that love is love regardless of how it manifests, you are a threat to them.
And while it’s nice that the historic and wonderful pride march was filled with loving support and there were no incidents, it’s almost worse that people yearning for a bygone era when “equality” was just a word feel entitled to pull strings behind the scenes and complain to and threaten officials and the press to try to keep the status quo in place.
To those people: if you truly believe that love, or gender, or American is only how you define it, I challenge you to have the courage of your convictions. When those of us who believe differently than you do have the audacity to speak our truth in public, don’t be cowardly. Talk to us. Argue with us. Make your point. I know that you won’t, because you don’t want to be exposed for how ignorant you are. And also, sadly, you don’t have to. You still hold the power. You still occupy the seats of authority. You go to the right churches. You know the right people. You can still wax nostalgic for “a simpler time” and get nods of agreement from our government officials. But even in Sheridan, your power is waning.
Those of us who believe in a better world are no longer afraid of you. We will continue to march. We will continue to petition the government and the people. And we will win. The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice. And your time is coming to an end. Happy Independence Day, Sheridan. We’re here. We’re staying. Get used to it.
Editor’s note: The word limit on this letter was waived.