Pride Month: The Fight is Becoming Serious

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Every year when the calendar flips to June, I hang up my rainbow garden flag, change my Facebook cover photo to a Pride Month photo, and write a blog about celebrating Pride Month. Typically, my blogs have been mushy, feel-good, “Love is love,” “Free Mom Hugs,” and other words focusing on love and acceptance. I’m not a hard-hitting journalist. Heck, I’m just a senior citizen who typically blogs about grandparenting! However, this year I can’t treat Pride Month lightly. This fight is getting serious.

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Credit to Claire Willett

Anti-LGBTQ+ Bills in Oklahoma

This year in Oklahoma, forty-five bills have been proposed that severely discriminate against the LBGTQ+ community. They stink of prejudice, ignorance, and hatred. They threaten the freedom and rights of people in our state, specifically targeting transgender people. Besides being possibly unconstitutional, these bills create an atmosphere of hostility that impacts the mental health and actual physical safety of people in the LBGTQ+ community.

I question the hearts of the lawmakers proposing these laws. They represent themselves as Christians, and although I am no Biblical scholar, this is not a version of the Jesus I ever learned about in my many years of Sunday School and Church Camp.

Repeating History

The fact I paid attention in history class may be part of my problem. This phrase is credited to different people, but I like Winston Churchill’s version from 1948, “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” It certainly feels like Oklahoma is determined to go backward and repeat history. Have we forgotten that our parents and grandparents fought and died in the fight against fascism? Most of the world remembers the Hitler regime as being focused on exterminating an entire race, the Jewish people. However, we later learned that Hitler and the Nazis also imprisoned and executed people with disabilities and homosexuals.

Homosexuals in Germany were targeted even before the war, with laws against them becoming stricter and stricter. Eventually, Hitler said he wanted to execute anyone who even had a homosexual thought. During the Holocaust, gay prisoners were forced to wear a large, upside-down pink triangle on their clothing. Guards and even other prisoners targeted those prisoners with physical violence. Homosexual men were subjected to brutal medical experimentation in the concentration camps. The number of homosexuals who were exterminated in concentration camps is uncertain. However, some studies estimate that about 500,000 homosexuals were killed. Unlike most concentration camp prisoners, the surviving homosexual prisoners were not liberated when the war ended in 1945. The amendment the Nazis had made to Paragraph 175, which made homosexuality a felony, meant they were transferred to a different prison in Germany. Homosexuality was still an imprisonable offense in Germany until 1994.

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A Slippery Slope

It might seem melodramatic to compare the proposed laws against LBGTQ+ in Oklahoma to Germany in the 1930s  and ’40s, but it’s a slippery slope when we begin taking human rights away from a minority group. It’s essential to stand up now to any bill that takes away the rights of an individual to love the same gender, to be transgender, or to wear clothing supposedly reserved for another gender.

As an ally, I am willing to stand alongside my friends and family members of the LBGTQ+ community and fight for their rights. To be silent is to consent. Or, to quote Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Educate Yourself

I don’t understand the hatred towards those in the LBGTQ+ community, but insecurity, ignorance, and fear are often the underlying causes of hate. Do the people who are so vehemently opposed to gay people and transgender people somehow feel threatened by what they don’t understand? I’m not gay or transgender, so I can’t say I identify on a deep level because I haven’t shared their experiences. However, I am an ally because I can feel empathy for what it must feel like to be ostracized by others simply because of who you love or who you are.

It’s OK to admit you don’t understand it, but it’s not OK to be hateful. Take a few minutes to become better informed. For instance, did you know that somewhere between 1,000 and 4,500  babies are born each year with atypical genitalia? Reading about gay and lesbian history is also important. I learned so much by reading “Out of the Past” by Neil Miller. Open your heart and mind and be an ally. We all deserve equality, inclusion, and love. And there I am, right back to the mushy “love is love” blog, and I’m OK with that. After all, love is what really matters.


The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project provides information and support for LBGTQ+ youth, 24×7. Reach a counselor by calling 1-866-488-7386 or by texting 678-678


Call or text 988 for Oklahoma’s statewide mental health crisis lifeline.

Dennis R. Neill Equality Center

The Equality Center provides information about local resources and events.

Free Mom Hugs

Free Mom Hugs is  “a nationwide movement of love, visibility, and acceptance for the LGBTQIA+ communityfounded by Sara Cunningham in Oklahoma in 2015. There are now chapters in all fifty states!

Tulsa Pride 2023

Tulsa Pride is an entire weekend of celebratory activities!

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Categories: Grand Life