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Editor’s Letter – 6/6/18

“Pride is an expression of getting to be yourself,” Amy Jenkins said when I interviewed her for this issue’s Pride feature. “It’s about making a space where people can just be their freaky selves. Too many people are walking around with masks on so tight they can’t breathe.”

How refreshing, then, to see the photos from this month’s Tulsa Pride week (taken by Nate Grace and Bhadri Verduzco) of Tulsans reveling and celebrating love and life. One of my favorite signs at the parade read: “I was born this gay.” (Which then got Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” stuck in my head—not a bad thing.)

This issue celebrates Pride with our LGBTQ+ community that makes Tulsa a more vibrant, fun, equal, and freer place to be. We also celebrate Pride to honor those who were and who continue to be discriminated against, abused, and killed for being themselves.

In June, I’m always reminded of James Baldwin’s classic, “Giovanni’s Room”—a book that showed me, as a young adult, an understanding of love and its naturalness, as well as the dangers and misery of repression.

Baldwin writes:

“People can't, unhappily, invent their mooring posts, their lovers and their friends, anymore than they can invent their parents. Life gives these and also takes them away and the great difficulty is to say Yes to life.”

And also:

“Somebody," said Jacques, "your father or mine, should have told us that not many people have ever died of love. But multitudes have perished, and are perishing every hour - and in the oddest places! - for the lack of it.”

I celebrate Pride, in part, because of his writing. But, also, because Pride is honest and it is humbling. We are all “at the mercy of more things than can be named,” Baldwin wrote. If we let it, Pride makes us look at ourselves—our lives, loves, judgements—and the people around us with renewed, compassionate, more equal vision.

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