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“Happy Pride Month everyone!”

I’m finding that I am saying this to more and more people – and not just in the LGBT community. I would like to think that when I say this to allies, they feel like this month is about them as well.  In my mind, it most definitely is. 

Each year, I find that Pride speaks to me in new ways – and this year is no exception. I have the privilege to hear/read your stories that you send in and also speak with new friends that are learning more about Pride month and what Pride is. (FYI – if you don’t know, start here.)

For 2017, Open for Service sponsored “Drag Queen Story Hour” in partnership with The Indianapolis Public Library and Indy Bag Ladies. I love the idea of intersecting groups of people that may not cross paths on the street.  I think this is a great way to expose people to others in a safe environment and maybe hope that we can grow a mutual admiration for each other.  Today was no exception.  People came out in DROVES to listen to Pat Yo Weave and Latrina Bidet. Kids got dressed up and parents danced to disco music. I’m sure this was the first time a lot of these children have experienced a drag queen, and it was fascinating to watch as they interacted with the readers and laughed at their jokes.  It drives home the idea that we are born completely open to any and all things, and as we grow we should continue to have that wonder.

Pat Yo Weave and Latrina Bidet read to families during Drag Queen Story Hour at the Indianapolis Public Library.
Pat Yo Weave and Latrina Bidet read to families during Drag Queen Story Hour at the Indianapolis Public Library.

Over the past 12 months, I have watched as more and more people outside of the LGBT community have stepped up to become more involved, more integrated, more supportive of us. More companies are working to create safer, inclusive environments – and focusing on diversity as an initiative for growth. This is very exciting to me!

Tomorrow is the Circle City IN Pride here in Indianapolis. I am very much looking forward to enjoying it with good friends and celebrating our continued progress towards total inclusion. I am so proud of the work my LGBTQIA+ family are doing across the globe for future generations.  I am so proud of all the work our previous generations did to make days like today possible. Thank you for taking the risk.

We must continue the work of our elders and find new ways to promote inclusion, mutual respect, and kindness towards each other – while at the same time remembering our history and honoring those who came before us. Take this time to learn more about the LGBTQIA+ community and also celebrate the person you are (whether you’re part of the above acronym or not).

So again, Happy Pride Month to you. Take this time to relax, reflect, and celebrate – because we’re gonna need you rested for the work that is coming.

Wishing you nothing but love/kindness/safety/respect/happiness,

Joshua Driver
Founder, Open for Service

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