We Have Work To Do
Happy Pride. Or not really.
In one of those simple twists of fate, we celebrate the start of Pride Month as the nation-wide, largely peaceful assemblies against racial inequity enter their third week, in the midst of a global pandemic that has already claimed more than 400,000 lives, including more than 100 in Arlington.
And as if that were not enough, the forcible removal of a Pride flag from the DHS building at Sequoia last week by a visitor to that building is a reminder that we have work to do — as individuals, as a community, and as a nation — to promote and visibly demonstrate understanding and acceptance.
During my tenure as Library Director, I have been accused of promoting the “gay agenda” and “deviant sex” when our buildings have flown the Pride flag. We have been threatened with the destruction of Library property. And, perhaps saddest of all, we have discovered the defacing of library books - books acquired to explain to our young people that there are many kinds of families, and there is not one right way to love another person.
Being gay is not “a thing” to be derided and disrespected, any more than being black or brown or Muslim or female is a thing. It is who we are: as we are also parents, sports figures, artists, educators, law enforcement, elected leaders, citizens. Each of us has and will continue to make important contributions to our communities and to our nation. And we deserve to do so openly and without fear.
That is my wish for this month and every month.
Arlington Public Library