Diminished happiness on Pride Weekend

It’s Pride Weekend here in Vancouver. Assuming it stops raining, there will be a parade, a festival, fireworks from the finale of the Celebration of Light, and general merrymaking as is wont to occur during a Pride Weekend. Yet this weekend, the celebrations will be diminished—not just by the terrible murder on the bus a couple of days ago, but also by the recent murder of a transwoman in Colorado. Angie Zapata went on a date with a man she had met over the Internet, and upon his discovery that she had personal bits that didn’t match up with what he thought should have been there, he brutally bludgeoned her to death.

On Passover, Jews recount the joyful story of the exodus from Egypt, the journey from slavery to freedom. Yet this freedom came at a price: in the story, God brought ten plagues on the Egyptians—even killing all the firstborn males in the kingdom—before Pharaoh would allow the people to leave the land. During the seder celebrations on the night of Passover, when the ten plagues are recounted, it is a custom among many Jews to spill a drop of wine from their cups, to symbolize the fact that we cannot celebrate with a full cup when that celebration is born of other people’s suffering.

This year, Pride will be celebrated with diminished happiness, with less than a full cup. And so must it be every year, until this kind of hatred is eliminated from the world. Homophobia, transphobia, gynophobia, racism, and all other kinds of intolerance must be swept away so that everyone may one day celebrate with a full cup.

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13 comments for “Diminished happiness on Pride Weekend

  1. August 1, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    This is beautiful.
    Thank you.

  2. UnFit
    August 1, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Last year in my city, there was an alternative CSD under the slogan “Remember, Stonewall Was a Riot” Worth remembering these days indeed.
    I don’t quite know what to think of the big parade and parties either. I guess they have their place, but it’ll take much more than that, and all year round, if we ever want to celebrate with our cups full.

  3. August 2, 2008 at 8:55 am

    Thanks for mentioning Angie Zapata’s brutal murder and linking to Melissa’s post — her spotlight on how the murderer wanted to make sure “it” was dead is right on target. Dehumanization. I wanted to write this up myself but it’s an exhausting subject: more dead trans women. Just makes me want to hide under my pillow. And we can’t forget Ebony Whitaker either. Or the two victims at the Tennessee shooting of a Unitarian church, targeted in part because they accepted gay and trans people.

  4. August 2, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    Sam, Thanks so much for that thoughtful and beautiful post. I loved your comparison between the Jewish tradition of spilling one drop of wine and the diminished state of celebration at the Pride Weekend for the reasons you mentioned.

  5. Crys T
    August 2, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    I just wanted to add my voice to those above: thanks for this post.

  6. Dana
    August 2, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    This just makes me sick. Why does no one seem to care? RIP Angie

    It is a beautiful post Sam, thank you.

  7. Jha
    August 2, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    I quoted your whole middle paragraph in my LJ, because it was so beautifully apt. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Dominique
    August 6, 2008 at 12:47 am

    It’s unbelievable how this man could possibly escape justice, when not only did he *murder* another human being, but did so after *sexually assaulting* this person. Kill him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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