07 June 2013

 (I am on a business trip in Nashville and have asked friends to contribute posts. Today's guest blog is written by my friend Darrell Tucci. We met when he was the chief development office for Liberty Hill Foundation, an organization for which I sit on the board.  He is now CDO at Desert AIDS Project. Thanks for reading, Melinda)

June is Pride month - a month full of rainbow flags, parades, and celebrations of the diversity of the LGBT community globally.  This weekend is Los Angeles Pride - one of the biggest celebrations in the United States.  A half million people will come into Los Angeles over 3 days and the news will certainly cover the glamour and splendor or nearly naked gym bodies with fairy wings and drunken shenanigans.  Yes, it is a celebration of bedazzled grandeur.
However, what the news fails to share in their coverage of most Pride celebrations, is what it is actually meant to be...a celebration of the progress made for legal equality and social justice for LGBT people since the Stonewall riots so many years ago.  And, even though the we have a long way to go on this front, there is also much to celebrate.  Pride provides a space for the "just-coming-out" teen to engage their community.  It provides all people, queer and straight alike to learn how to get involved with organizations to further advance equality.  And, it honors those who have done so much.
This year in Los Angeles, the 2013 Community Grand Marshal is The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force  - an organization I've been proud to support for many years.  Their mission is to build the grassroots power of the LGBT movement by training activists, operating a think tank and they put people on the ground in cities and states across the country to advance pro-LGBT ballot measures and to defeat the homophobic ones as well.  More simply captured by one of their taglines: Power is Sexy!
They are truly deserving of their honor by LA Pride this year and of all of our support.  Hope to see you at the parade or festival on Sunday!

-Darrell Tucci

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