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Monday June 12 marks the anniversary of the Orlando massacre that killed 49 queer people of color. A year ago, prominent local gay cleric Father Jon Perez hosted a vigil in which speakers emphasized that our LGBTQ+ community would not be driven back into the closet by this act of terrorism.

A family-friendly LGBTQ+ Peninsula Pride Parade that starts at Broadway and Noche Buena in Seaside, 11 a.m. on Saturday June 17, is one way our community seeks to protect against that.  Admittedly, “family friendly” is not the image most associate with Gay Pride parades. But, the modern era of same-sex marriage and LGBT-affirming churches demands the rise of small-town family-friendly Pride alternatives to their more provocative big-city counterparts. Seaside is ready to be a part of this change.

The fee waiver requested by the National Coalition Building Institute for the parade passed on a vote of 3-2 by the Seaside City Council.  As its name implies, NCBI is a non-profit that builds diverse community coalitions for the purpose of eliminating every form of oppression. Achieving this requires acknowledging not only the differences between groups, but the diversity within groups as well.  It is fitting that the most universally recognizable symbol associated with the LGBTQ+ community is the rainbow.  Our members constitute a rainbow of ethnicities, genders, sexualities, faiths, lifestyles — and children.

Yes, children. Undoubtedly, most of those slain at the Orlando nightclub became aware of their minority gender or sexual orientation by mid-adolescence in households whose chief aim was to ensure that they would grow up to conform to cultural gender and heterosexual norms.  This puts enormous strain on our LGBTQ+ children. LGB youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than other youth and LGB youth raised in households that reject them are 8.4 times more likely to attempt suicide than those raised in accepting households. Seven percent of youth are LGBTQ+; but they make up 40 percent of homeless youth. It is not hard to understand why.

Marriage equality was not the end of the “gay agenda.” There is no more important work left undone in our rainbow community than making this world, country and county a safer place for LGBTQ+ kids!   That means instilling in them a sense of self esteem. Our Peninsula Pride Parade means to do just that. We want parents to bring their kids to the parade, because we want our LGBTQ+ kids to grow up in a world where they feel safe, loved and accepted. Where they will have no need to run away from home or try to kill themselves. And we want straight kids there too; because we don’t want another Orlando.

A program at Oldeymeyer Center follows the parade at noon. Please join us. It’s family-friendly.

Steven Goings, a resident of Seaside, is the coordinator of NCBI@CSUMB, a Peninsula Pride Parade committee member, and life-member of the NAACP.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • bill leone June 10, 2017, 12:02 pm

    Steve, you, NCBI, & the Peninsula Pride Parade have my complete, & enduring support for you & your collective efforts. We are dealing with a Civil Rights Issue, plain & simple.

  • Barbara Moore June 10, 2017, 12:09 pm

    It is so good after many years of not having a local Pride celebration that a group of dedicated volunteers has gotten together to organize one. There are so many divisions in our country that events such as this one which seek to bring our community together are especially needed.

    As Mr. Goings wrote, there is still a very high suicide rate among gay youth that comes from the isolation so many of them feel, especially in smaller communities such as ours where there are fewer supportive services than are often available in large cities.

    I encourage each of you to come to the parade and the celebration at the Oldemeyer Center in Seaside following the parade and bring family and friends.

    For more information about the event go to the website. https://www.lgbtqmonterey.com/pride/

  • Judy Karas June 10, 2017, 2:37 pm

    The Monterey Peace and Justice Center plan to have a table at Oldemeyer Center on the 17th–and the board supports the march and program. I was very impressed by support given to the event by new council member Kayla Jones, who spoke eloquently at the Seaside Council Meeting when the issue of waiving of fees came up. Dave Pacheco and Jason Campbell voted along with Kayla to waive all the city fees for the parade. Thanks to the National Coalition Building Institute for sponsoring this event. It’s for the entire community, and I anticipate a fine turnout for this first, annual event.

  • bill leone June 10, 2017, 9:53 pm

    I want to remind the Pride Parade organizers, that on June 17th, a Saturday, will be a Big night at the Monterey Fairgrounds: The 50th Anniversary of Monterey Pop. Many people from around the country
    & the world will be converging on Monterey to watch entertainers who will celebrate The Summer Of Love. It would be great if you could get some, if not most, of the entertainers who will be in town, to
    participate in Our Pride Parade. Most of them have Facebook & Twitter accounts, or agents you can
    track down on the Internet.

    • Steven Goings June 16, 2017, 11:26 am

      Hi Bill,
      I wanted to thank you for this suggestion about contacting Monterey Pop performers. We made that a task for one of our committee members at the last meeting. Good looking out! I appreciate your work as an ally to many communities.

  • Wendy Askew June 11, 2017, 4:42 pm

    Thank you to everyone who has worked to organize and bring this event to our community. Steven says it perfectly: “We want parents to bring their kids to the parade, because we want our LGBTQ+ kids to grow up in a world where they feel safe, loved and accepted. Where they will have no need to run away from home or try to kill themselves. And we want straight kids there too; because we don’t want another Orlando.”

  • Susan Ragsdale-Cronin June 13, 2017, 8:08 am

    Wendy, your words made me cry… thank-you!

  • bill leone June 16, 2017, 9:16 pm

    Thanks Steven. Please let me know if there’s any way I can help with this Civil Rights Issue.
    See you Tomorrow!