Matthew Gann with his niece Ruby Ida Marigold
Nashville Pride President Matthew Gann, with his niece and Nashville Pride veteran Ruby Ida Marigold

For many, Nashville Pride is a place to come together with friends, family, and loved ones to celebrate the progress our community has made. It is a time to say “thank you” to those who have sacrificed their time, energy, and even lives to securing our rights to gather, marry, adopt children, and even simply use the restroom. As we celebrate the 31stPride in Nashville, we also pay homage to those who started the modern-day LGBTQ+ movement at the Stonewall Inn 50 years ago, an event that led to the creation of pride festivals and parades throughout the world.

 

In our celebration, we can’t forget the constant struggles some in our community still face. Although Nashville has made great strides toward equality and inclusion, the state and federal political environments are increasingly uncertain. Intersectionality makes us stronger. With a commitment to love and humanity, we will continue to stand up against discrimination and stand for equality.

We must continue to band together with our neighbors and make our voices heard. We should always remember that Pride comes from the knowledge that we are humans deserving of love and acceptance — that our humanity is something to be celebrated and to be proud of.

While we don’t know what lies on the road ahead for the LGBTQ+ community, we must always remember the obstacles we have faced and tackled the last 50 years that led us to today: a day where we will march down a rainbow-clad Broadway in one of the most popular cities in the south led by a group of LGBTQ+ youth who know it’s ok to be who they are; a day where the largest employers in the region commit substantial financial and human resources to stand with us and stand up for us; a day where the police and fire departments and the Mayor’s Office have dedicated liaisons to deal with issues that matter most to us; and a day where the Mayor and Metro Council honors us for the “enormous contributions to the quality of life in Nashville and Davidson County” by declaring June Nashville Pride Month.

The road hasn’t been easy, and we know there are still struggles ahead, but take every opportunity to celebrate this Pride Season. Our community has earned it.

 

In Pride,

Matthew Gann

President, Nashville Pride

 

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