With Pride weekend coming up in Seattle, the entire city is bustling with activity. Rainbows are everywhere - on flags hanging from buildings, on signs pasted in shop windows, even on the streets in Capitol Hill - thanks, Mayor Ed Murray! It's a wonderful time to be in Seattle, although this is a city that celebrates diversity all year long, for which I'm extremely thankful.
Even though we're making strides, sometimes it seems like change is not coming fast enough. I have to stop and remember that when I was in high school in small-town, rural Pennsylvania, not one single student that I knew publicly identified as gay, lesbian, queer, bisexual, etc. And no one went to the prom with a same-sex date. Now, my life is filled with people from all walks of life, and I have so many friends who are loud and proud members or allies of the LGBTQ community. From my friends and personal connections to my colleagues at work, the people I love and respect have the freedom to love whomever they please.
As wonderful as it is to be in Seattle and part of such a welcoming community, we still have such a long way to go as a nation and around the world. One of the biggest areas for improvement that I can see is the way we speak about our children. It's time we stopped assuming our children are straight. Why do we do that? Especially as the Supreme Court is poised to give gay marriage the thumbs-up, why do we continue to use language that assumes sexual preference for our children before they can even speak? Imagine a world where no one has to "come out" anymore, because no one ever assumed they were one way or the other to begin with. Or that they identified as a particular gender. We're not there yet, but if you care about this issue, maybe take a stand. The next time you hear someone - or yourself - talking about their daughter's future boyfriends, maybe remind them, "Or girlfriends." If we can free ourselves and our children from this constrictive language, we can help strip away the fear and confusion around sexual preference once and for all.
Happy Pride, everyone!