White supremacists and Christian nationalists have bullied Target into pulling much of their Pride merchandise, and Anheuser-Busch InBev into “re-examining” their marketing strategy. It is a rare victory for those hate groups. With the exception of a handful of corporations (Hobby Lobby, Chick-fil-A, Uline), most American brands have embraced diversity and celebrated the LGBTQI+ community. Even Coors is on-board now, and Disney has refused to back down after years of boycotts and the business-hostile intrusions of Florida's semi-fascist government.
In the midst of this terror (and overall progress), the question still comes up: Why “pride”? It is a fair question.
We do not choose our assigned gender. We do not choose our affectional orientations. And despite the allegations of grooming, a lie as bold as the antisemite’s “blood libel,” no one is “turned gay” by watching a drag show.
You can't be proud of something you didn't choose or accomplish, right?
Except this: member of the LGBTQI+ community have been made to feel shame over something they did not choose or accomplish for centuries.
The “pride” in LGBTQI+ Pride is really “anti-shame.”
Of course, there is a sort of pride to be claimed. Just as Black-identified people of color (BIPOC) have “Black History,” so we have queer history. Just as Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) have a heritage to celebrate, so is there a queer heritage.
But not every member of the LGBTQI+ community is going to be a world-changing genius (Alan Turing), host a Parisian salon (Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas), or write groundbreaking fiction and poetry (James Baldwin, Audre Lorde). Many of us are just busy with life, going to work, loving our families and friends. I don't know about you, but my “gay agenda” pretty much always includes “Taco Tuesday.”
No shame. No shame at Christ's table. No shame in being who you were created to be. You are loved, just the way you are, by God and by God's people.