By Jonathon Van Maren
“Pride” Marches began when gay “rights” activists realized that visibility was key to winning public sympathy. Things, I think we can all agree, have progressed quite a bit from there. We have gone from individual marches to event-filled weekends to the entire month of June being dedicated as “Pride” Month, which is replete not only with parades and events but also the spectre of politicians prostrating themselves and making promises, mandatory activities for public school students from kindergarten through Grade 12 (yes, including Catholic schools), and furious flag-waving by the entire corporate world, entertainment industry, and professional sports leagues.
That, of course, is not enough. To suggest that a mere four weeks out of 52 should be spent in compulsory celebration of sexual diversity is obviously problematic and also likely homophobic if you really think about it, which some folx most certainly have. As the rainbow acronym gets longer (what does that little “plus” sign mean, anyway?), so does the period of mandatory frivolity. Thus, HHS Assistant Secretary of Health Admiral “Rachel” Levine of the Biden administration, who abandoned his past as a man named Richard and now identifies as a “transgender woman,” announced that Pride Month is expanding.
“Happy Pride month,” said Levine, “and actually let’s declare it a summer of Pride. Happy summer of Pride.” Behind Levine was a cheery, colored sign reading “Summer of Pride.”
Levine may have been inspired by Canada, where the Trudeau government has already expanded “Pride Month” into “Pride Season,” which extends through July and August and then heads right on into September, presumably so students can both end and start their school years with LGBT programming. From the Canadian government’s website:
Pride Season is a term that refers to the wide range of Pride events that take place over the summer (June to September) when 2SLGBTQI+ communities and allies come together to spotlight the resilience, celebrate the talent, and recognize the contributions of 2SLGBTQI+ communities. Although special attention is put on the Pride events during the summer months, they happen throughout the year in many communities.
Historically, Pride gatherings emerged from the first large-scale protests for 2SLGBTQI+ rights. In Canada, the first demonstrations took place in Ottawa and Vancouver in 1971. By 1973, Pride events were held in several Canadian cities, including Montréal, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg. Toronto’s Pride weekend in June is now among the largest Pride events in North America. Happy Pride Season!