Record editorial: Declaration of Pride Month in Park City is a meaningful gesture
June is now officially Pride Month in Park City.
On Thursday, the Park City Council passed a resolution declaring it so. Given the political leanings of most Parkites, it was not a surprising move.
It is a meaningful gesture nonetheless.
Living in a welcoming community like Park City can somewhat obscure the reality that the fight for LGBTQ rights and acceptance is still raging in other parts of the state and across the nation.
You don’t have to look far to see why Park City’s declaration of support is important. City Councilors seemed to acknowledge the resolution was at least partly inspired by a recent controversy across the county line that was sparked when some Heber City residents voiced displeasure at a public meeting about rainbow pride flags adorning lamp posts along the town’s Main Street.
Elsewhere in the state, two students at Kearns High School were suspended from the football team for a Snapchat video that depicted a person burning a rainbow pride flag. According to media reports, someone can be heard in the video saying, “All gays die.”
Incidents like that, and countless others across the country in any given month, underscore the very reason celebrating LGBTQ pride is so important. It’s a call for LGBTQ people to stand up and declare that they are not — and should not be — ashamed to be who they are. And it’s about fostering a society in which they don’t have to live in fear of discrimination and in which they can be confident that they have plenty of allies willing to stand beside them and link arms.
As one resident who spoke in support of the resolution at the City Council meeting noted, efforts like the resolution the elected officials passed are also a signal to LGBTQ youth — a demographic with suicide rates much higher than their peers — that they are loved, which can be especially important for teens not hearing that message at home.
And, no, the existence of LGBTQ pride celebrations does not mean there should be equivalent efforts to mark straight pride, a common-but-flawed line of thinking that conveniently ignores one critical distinction: Straight people have never encountered the type of broad discrimination that LGBTQ people have always faced.
So fly your rainbow flags high, Parkites, whether you’re a member of the LGBTQ community or a straight ally. It’s Pride Month in Park City, and of that, we can all be proud.
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