Still Singing: LGBTQ Pride Month

Image: A heart shaped box filled with rainbow ribbon. (inkdrop/shutterstock all rights reserved.)

I’ve been writing this blog regularly since 2012 – that’s seven years of Pride months. LGBTQ Pride Month is a big deal to my family. We’ve been out as a lesbian-headed family since 1988, and Pride Month has always been an occasion to stand up, gather round, and remember that we are not alone.

My sons are straight, but they identify as part of the LGBTQ family, too. They were hassled even as young children because mom wasn’t in a closet – and yes, even the Bay Area was a lot less friendly back in those days. We have always faced the world as a family, and we have been the stronger for it.

In past years, I’ve written about how far our community has come, and how far we still have to go. I’ve shared some flashbacks to the bad old days, when my children were picked on and we were nervous in certain states. I’ve memorialized some great human beings and some people who caused a lot of misery for good people. I’ve shared memories of Prides past, and hope for the future.

I’ve explained why I believe that no, the Bible doesn’t say LGBTQ folks are terrible sinners.

In 2016, I mourned the murders at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. Looking back, that was when the news took a turn. The era of good news about same-sex marriage and DOMA and increasing rights ended and we began a slide into today’s news about diminished rights for transgender Americans, and the ominous shifts in the Judiciary branch of our government. I am concerned at what the future holds, especially for trans family members and friends. And after all these years, I still feel more angry than scared.

Pride this year is bittersweet, but I feel fiercely proud. As the Holly Near song tells it, “we are a gentle angry people, and we are singing for our lives.” She wrote that song, “Singing for Our Lives,” 40 years ago, on the way to the demonstrations in San Francisco the night after Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone were murdered. It was another time when great promise had given way to backlash and sorrow.

Here’s the story of the song, told in her own words:

May we have the strength to ride out this current storm, to fight when we can, to endure when we cannot fight, and to remember, above all, that we are in this together: lesbians, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and all.

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Rabbi Ruth Adar is a teaching rabbi in San Leandro, CA. She has many hats: rabbi, granny, and ham radio operator K6RAV. She blogs at and teaches at Jewish Gateways in Albany, CA.

2 thoughts on “Still Singing: LGBTQ Pride Month”

  1. Beautiful.
    And I’m angry, too.
    Once my twin brother came out to me (we were 17, and he told no one else in our family) , I got very involved in the gay and lesbian community. I learned a lot. I was the only straight person on the gay panel in my Sex Roles class at Sonoma State in 1975.
    I felt very protective of my brother and friends.
    And I saw Holly Near for the first time in 1975 when I was attending Sonoma State. She’s one of my favorites.
    Thanks for sharing this, Rabbi.

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