As June is GLBTQ Pride Month, many of my acquaintances ask themselves and others the same question: “Is Pride still relevant today?” I think that many of us ask ourselves the exact same question. What may have seemed radical and trendy fifty years ago – is it just as important today? We have evolved as a society and in many ways being GLBTQ no longer carries the stigma that it may have invoked “back in the day.” With the amount of progress that we have made, “Is pride still necessary?”
Last week, as an afterthought, I was sent to the my state’s conference on HIV/AIDS which is held annually throughout the state. It has been a number of years since I’ve attended one and I was anxious to see what, if any, personnel changes had occurred since the last time I was present at one. The convocation was sponsored by the state-wide health department and featured a number of guest presenters from across the southeastern region of the USA.
By now, almost all of us are familiar with the image of a person hugging a tree representing environmentalists. It is used by many as either a positive identifier or else as a derogatory graphic. As we become better acquainted with the knowledge and effects of global warming, this image also serves as a reminder of the fragile relationship between our environment and humanity. This same picture accurately depicts the primary message of the entire Earth Day movement: This is our world, we all need to work together to protect it.
This upcoming Sunday, March 25, 2018, is the Feast of the Annunciation in the various Eastern Orthodox Churches. According to church tradition, it was on this date that the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary in a dream and revealed to her that she was to become the Theotokos (Mother of God) by giving birth to the Son of God (Jesus). Since the early days of Christianity, this date has been a feast day throughout all the apostolic Orthodox churches, which are organized along national tendencies (Greek, Russian, Bulgarian, Syrian, etc.).
This post will stray somewhat from my usual “end-of-the-month” review of the state of this blog and any accomplishments relating to this site, nudity and/or same gender loving (gay) concerns. Instead, it is a posting of a noteworthy event in commemoration of Black History Month here in the USA. I’m sure that some of you reading here may ask yourselves, “why is he writing about Black history month? He’s not Black.” True, I’m not black-skinned. However, my husband is African-American and if I am to respect both him and his heritage, then I need to acknowledge and address issues that not only concern him but us both.
Wednesday of this week, February 7, is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in the USA. It’s the date, conveniently during the USA’s Black History Month observance, to direct people’s attention to the disproportionate impact the HIV/AIDS pandemic has on the African-American community. Americans of African descent constitute 13% of this country’s population yet represent more than 50% of all categories reported in HIV and AIDS related statistics reported to the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This disparity in infection rates remains a disgrace on the American Public Health system and represents negligence by the both elected officials and leaders.
Here in the USA, every February is designated as Black History Month. This is the time of the year that nationally, we focus on remembering, educating and sharing the accomplishments and achievements of African-Americans and their contributions made to both American history and to American society. One doesn’t have to be a Black American to appreciate the results of Black culture. It is a time for all of us to celebrate the people who overcame innumerable challenges and enriched us all.