June 02, 2007

Lesbian Moms Taking Pride in Mormon Country

This is one of the best explainations of why the GLBT community celebrates in the annual Pride festivals.

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

Their household includes two parents and two sons, but they're rarely considered a family.

When Kim and Ruth Hackford-Peer visited a public recreation center, they were not allowed to buy a family pass. When they take their sons to pose for a family photo or visit the doctor's office, people call them sisters. And when they hold hands walking down the street, strangers stare in disapproval.

"There's just not an acknowledgement that we're a family," says Kim, who's been with Ruth for 10 years.

But once a year, Kim and Ruth look forward to their "favorite holiday" - the Utah Pride Festival, an annual four-day event better known in the gay community as Pride.

Here, Kim and Ruth don't have to be prepared to defend their family from adults who mumble rude comments. They don't have to tell people that they are lesbians and not best friends. They don't have to worry about their sons - 5-year-old Riley and 1-year-old Casey - being ridiculed for having two mommies.

If for only a few days during Pride, they are recognized as a family.

"It's celebrating our relationship, our family, our existence," Kim says, playing with her boys in their east side Salt Lake County home.

Ruth, a 33 year-old educator, describes Pride as an event where gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender (GLBT) people can be "open" and don't have to feel ashamed of their lifestyle.

"It's about loving myself and who I am," she says. "It's about GLBT people celebrating the joys of being a queer person."

Pride is also turning into an annual tradition for gay families as the event organizes more kid-friendly activities, say gay parents.

Pride started in 1969 as a protest against discrimination and violence against gays in New York City, and today there are Pride festivals in cities worldwide.

That's what I learned at my first Pride event two years ago. It's about people celebrating who they are, especially since there are still a lot of people around who want GLBT people to hide in shame and not express their God given gift of homosexuality.

I strongly encourage members of the GLBT community to support their local Pride activities. I also highly recommend these events, especially the street festivals, to straight folks like me. If you've never been, I suspect it will be eye opening.

My church, Believers Covenenant Fellowship, will have a booth at Capital Pride in Washington DC on Sunday, June 10, just a few blocks down from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue. If you're in the area, please stop by and say hello.

Thanks to PageOneQ for the tip on the article.

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