A couple of weeks ago, I attended a live show of the podcast Still Processing, which features two culture writers from The New York Times. Jenna Wortham is queer, and Wesley Morris is gay, and they spent a segment of their show that night talking about Pride in 2019: Its growing acceptance, the corporatization of it, how it can stay revolutionary. As they wrapped that particular conversation, Morris recognized small town Pride celebrations as the ones that were pushing that revolutionary boundary, as those are the places where full acceptance is still elusive.
A 13 year old in Buffalo Grove made national news after planning the first parade in her town, which by "big city" standards is a relatively small community.
We have legit small towns around here, as in towns with 5000 residents or less, and Paxton is one of those. This Sunday, June 30th, Paxton will see its first Pride parade. From the Facebook event:
So many of us had to flee our small hometowns to find safety, opportunity, and community in larger cities. Those large cities have had Pride celebrations for decades. It is time to bring us all back to where we began, and where too many young people still feel isolated as they endure hardships. Let us shine the light of Pride everywhere!
Those interested in marching will gather at Pells Park at 11 a.m., and the parade will end with a celebration at the Arcade Café. You can read more about the event here.