In 1975 Oliver Sipple courageously disarmed a gun from Sara Jane Moore’s hand. “I’m not a hero. I was caught in fate’s trajectory.” Vietnam Veteran Sipple commented when was asked about saving President Ford’s life that day outside the St. Francis Hotel.

He was outed the next day.

When asked about Sipple’s brave actions, Harvey Milk responded “For once we can show gay people do heroic things” before he himself was murdered.

“We wish he had never saved President Ford’s life, in fact we wish our son had never been born” Sipple’s mom candidly uttered to the reporters who descended upon her suburban lawn in the days after.

Years later, on June 26th, 2015, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy ruled: “Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. IT IS SO ORDERED.” 

Pride is not a parade. Or a rainbow. Or a flag. Or a section of merch missing from inside the local Target.

Pride is not a new beer label. Or a slogan on a billboard. Or a political position. Or you exploiting us for our money.

When I see Pride, my body is altered.

My nervous system settles.

My being is transformed.

My heart opens.

My breath releases.

My fists unclench.

The parades on your town square, the flags on your porch, the sticker in your window, the same sex kissing on prime time—  the collective of these gestures, that’s you, saying to me;

You are safe ( here )

What makes you feel safe?