This article was published on May 10th, 2018
This year’s LA Pride theme is #JUSTBE. This hashtag not only stirs emotions, but it also makes each person feel differently about it. #JUSTBE through the lens of diverse people representing various parts of the LGBTQ+ community means varying things, and it’s important to honor everyone within the community and the experiences they’ve had throughout their lives that has allowed them to #JUSTBE themselves.
Pride is an experience on many levels for contrasting people. #JUSTBE is the heterosexual grandmother just wanting her kids and grandkids to be happy. Or the queer senior who knew what living through a day and age when homosexuality was illegal was like. For this older generation, memories of days of marching for rights, protesting, the HIV/AIDS crisis, to today’s freedom to serve in the military and get married. Seeing the changes over the years that the older generation helped foster makes them want the younger generations to #justbe.
#JUSTBE is for the circuit gays who roam from party to party wanting to experience the high of being surrounded by like-minded members of the community looking to live and have a good time doing it. You’ll find these kweens at the festival dancing the night away.
#JUSTBE is for the bisexual community who is slowing gaining the same respect as the other letters of the queer acronym. Bisexuals wanting to not be labeled with one or the other and instead want to #JUSTBE themselves: bisexual, out, and proud.
#JUSTBE is for the lesbians—stalwart allies in the fight against AIDS/HIV from the beginning, champions for equal rights for queer people, trailblazers among women, and some of our fiercest warriors in the community. #Justbe is for the all-female lineup at this year’s pride concert series celebrating the diversity of the women who rock our world.
#JUSTBE is for the trans community who are still fighting for recognition and visibility. Through the work of vigilant members of the transgender community, trans people are able live fuller healthier lives and #justbe the person they were always meant to be: walking in solidarity at the parade and during pride with the rest of the LGBTQ community.
#JUSTBE is for the newbies entering the community. People coming out can experience a chosen family and feel the love of a new community. Out and proud new members of the queer community can express themselves and have a weight lifted off their shoulder by feeling the thrill and energy from their first Pride event and the community that supports them.
And this LA Pride is also for YOU. #JUSTBE who you’ve always been: a beautiful, individual member of the community.
Get your tickets now for LA Pride Festival, June 9-10 in West Hollywood. Tickets start at $25 each.