MPCA is hosting the first ever Minerva Park Pride event on Saturday, June 25th. Some of you may be wondering...what is it and why? Why are we hosting a Pride event? Why is it such a big deal? Gay marriage is legal, so why is it even necessary to have events like this?
What is Pride? Do you have to be GLBTQ+ to attend?
The Minerva Park Pride celebration is a chance to get together, get to know your neighbors, enjoy some food, music, and entertainment, swim, and generally celebrate the amazing diversity of our village. It's a chance to stand in solidarity with a unified voice and declare that one of the strengths of our village is our differences. Whether you have a child, grandchild, relative, neighbor, friend, coworker, church member, or anyone else in your life that is gay or trans, come celebrate with us! In fact, there is amazing power in being a straight ally of the GLBTQ+ community - simply showing up in support sends a powerful message of love and acceptance. It's a message of reassurance that GLBTQ+ people are embraced and supported by their community - a level of acceptance that has shifted dramatically in the last 20 years.
Why do we need to celebrate Pride?
First, while gay marriage is currently legal as a result of Obergefell v. Hodges, it is not a guaranteed right in all states. Court rulings can be overturned, and there is still a constitutional ban on gay marriage in the state of Ohio. The current Ohio Constitution reads: "Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this state and its political subdivisions. This state and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage." Marriage is not guaranteed or protected in Ohio and could change in an instant.
In addition, there are still many human experiences and situations where it is still perfectly legal to discriminate against someone who is gay or trans. From housing to adoption to employment, people with different sexual orientations and identities are not protected and risk losing their apartments and their jobs, simply because of who they are and who they love. Gay families still face incredible hurdles when it comes to adoption, even when one parent is the biological parent of the child. It is essential to celebrate Pride to bring attention to the areas of everyday life that are not "automatic human rights" for GLBTQ+ people.
Second, while the GLBTQ+ community has been embraced, and dare I say popularized, by modern culture, LGBT youth are nearly 3 times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual youth. Many feel unsafe at school and are often harassed and bullied. Modern culture may accept and embrace the LGBTQ+ community, but that acceptance is not often felt by children at a time when it is critical for them to be supported to become confident, independent adults. Children are ostracized at school, at home, and at their places of worship. Pride celebrations, especially the Minerva Park Pride celebration, are essential to show younger generation that they are worthy, they deserve happiness and love, and they are accepted for who they are.
Lastly, Minerva Park Pride is important to celebrate the diversity of our little village and to show everyone that we accept them and their families. We want everyone to feel welcome in Minerva Park, and Pride is an outward expression of our openness to ALL of our residents. Come celebrate the progress, diversity, and inclusion of Minerva Park!
Minerva Park Pride is Saturday, June 25th from 10a-12pm at the Community Pool. We will have food, swimming, local community organizations, entertainment, swimming, and family fun! All are welcome!