It’s been a rough summer and it wasn’t made any better last Thursday when the Board of Directors of Cleveland Pride, Inc. announced that they were canceling this year’s Cleveland Pride Parade. The only reason for the cancellation mentioned in their press release, “Because of the changing social climate…” is inscrutable at best. What social climate? What changed? Was there a credible threat made against the parade? The same as there is every year at every pride parade everywhere? So what’s the difference? Why are we stopping now? Why, in the middle of this shit show of a year, after people were slaughtered at an Orlando gay nightclub just for celebrating their own existence, are you canceling one of the most fun, most joyous, and most necessary parties of the year? We were able to keep our city safe during the Cavs parade when over a million people descended on downtown. We were able to keep our city safe during the RNC where groups of people who actively hated each other congregated in Public Square each afternoon to try to entice the other side into violence. What makes Cleveland Pride any different?
What has not changed in this social climate is the fact that members of the LGBTQ community and their allies are desperate for feelings of hope and belonging. We all want to feel as though we are loved and understood and do not need to hide away in fear. You know what’s great at both providing those feelings and challenging a “changing social climate”? A DAMN PRIDE PARADE.
Fine. You know what? The Board of Directors is right – the social climate IS changing and our only option is to cancel things, a whole mess of things. Get out your planners because we need to cancel, cancel, cancel it all. Here is a list of things that are now officially cancelled for 2016:
· Not giving a shit about congressional elections
· Never having a female nominee for president
· Olympic athletes being possibly electrocuted while they sleep
· Assuming that Justin Bieber is pretty good live
· Bernie or Bust-ers
· That horrific frog Snapchat filter
· The original ending to “Believeland”
· Unregistered voters
· Anyone else even thinking of attempting to pull off an all-white pantsuit
· Leaving dishes in the sink for more than 12 hours
· Presidential nominees who don’t read books
· Claiming on social media that you’re headed to go to the gym when you know damn well you’re going to go home to “change first” but then sit down on your couch, and then turn on your TV, and then watch American Ninja Warrior in full while ordering pizza
· Pictures of Bill Clinton where he is not engaging with balloons
· Remembering to worry about Zika
· Letting your racist uncle’s nonsense on Facebook go unchallenged
· Never having watched “The Great British Baking Show”
· Thinking that you can’t support both police and Black Lives Matter
· Wondering if Donald Trump would ever dare to invite Russia to hack the US
· Not using the bathroom of your choice
· Thinking that people wandering through a park late at night aren’t hunting Pokemon
· Cleveland’s self-hatred
· The idea that it is in any way possible to cancel a Pride parade.
People make a Pride parade, not the other way around. And come August 13th, we will gather in Cleveland, at one of the many alternative events that have popped up since The Board of Directors’ announcement, and we will celebrate Pride. Canceling Pride is canceled.