Pride isn’t just a week, a month, or a parade — it’s a movement and a journey. We’re proud of the LBGTQ+ community, and each LBGTQ+ identifying individual whose own journey has contributed to the progress and joys we’re proud to celebrate today. To wrap up a joyful and meaningful Pride week, we asked Sofar community members to share about their Pride journey, and what the celebration means to them. Read their stories.
Pride is a gift I don’t take for granted. It's a privilege I wasn't always able to accept, see, or feel, and unfortunately too many have yet to experience. It's a mission for every color of the rainbow to illuminate the path and clear the way for those still searching. Pride is a way of life- a commitment to celebrating every day. Pride is irrevocable permission to live doused in love and joy without judgment, fear, or shame.
Pride to me, means a time to celebrate this beautiful community of people, even if we can't celebrate together, we can all still spread love and acceptance to all. Pride is not just the parade or the parties, it is time to let it be known that we are queer and we are proud.
Looking back, the journey toward equal rights has been long, and we’ve accomplished a lot, but it’s not over yet. The fight for trans rights continues, not least in the military. “Religious freedom” (to discriminate) is a hot topic. Other issues include conversion therapy, hate-crime laws, the ban on HIV+ military members, housing discrimination, adoption denial based on religious objections, immigration and citizenship issues, and healthcare access.
For me, Pride is ultimately about visibility, and it always has been. It’s about putting yourself out there and claiming your space. It’s about living your life with no apologies. My two kids now ask to go to pride parades, and I plan to keep going to them as a family as long as we can. We have a lot of work to do.
I remember the first time I saw two poets who are my friends who are black and queer — there was a feeling I never had before, that I didn’t to sacrifice any part of my identity to enjoy this. Not only that, but there were also so many things during their sets that made me feel like an insider to their work and commentary in a way that I had never been before, things that might have gone past the rest of the audience. I wanted to create that feeling for other people. It’s important to take the whole package. You can’t just take one part, you have to take both; you have to sit and listen to this content about queerness.
— Oompa, Artist, Boston
I’ve never had any homophobic slurs thrown at me from crowds or the music community, as I’ve surrounded myself with wonderful musicians and people. It’s no longer an issue for me to be accepted in most places, but you still have lots of atrocities happening around the world. There are some countries I could visit where I would have to keep it kind of a secret that I’m a gay woman. That, as a musician who wants to tour the world and visit everyone, pisses me off a bit. It’s ridiculous. We still have a lot of steps to overcome. But, in the world I’ve experienced so far, the world has opened its arms to me.
For any LGBTQ+ artists who feel like they can’t express themselves through art and music, we have to open the door for them. I’ve got my hand on the door, so let’s open it.
— Stars, Artist, Doncaster
Being identified as an LGBTQ+-owned business in an industry that is traditionally dominated by the hetero, white, bearded male figure, we decided to pivot to inclusivity. Our space is almost completely ADA accessible, our staff is committed to learning basic ASL and we're also in the process of creating Braille compliant menus for the blind community. We are supportive of the LGBTQ+ community, but we want to go above and beyond and make inclusivity the norm in the beer/brewery industry. Everyone should feel welcome in our space.
— Bryan, Red Bear Brewing, DC
Loneliness is a terrible scourge destroying the lives of people everywhere. Beloved spiritual community is a powerful antidote. Community is one of our highest values – the opportunity to practice living together in peace. What makes us proud are the young people coming up and dreaming dreams we never imagined. We look forward to continuing to be a hub of progressive values and spiritual transformation for all kinds of people, not just in our city, but in the world. — Arlington Street Church, Sofar Boston Venue