Pride Month — My most patriotic and American action

Welcome to the final installment of my Pride Month series on lassennews.com. Whew, it’s been a long run and the longest assignment of my career. Now allow me to explain myself and finally share my opinion on this topic.

Just like many of you, I have concerns about some items allegedly on the the LGBTQ+ community’s agenda. For example, I know some in my own family who complain every time there’s an ad on television for a product or a new TV show that contains gay actors. They say it makes them feel as if the gay lifestyle is being forced upon them.

I don’t know anyone who can convince me it’s fair or proper for a biological man to compete in women’s sports regardless of her transitional state. I completely understand such an athlete may believe she is a woman trapped inside a man’s body. I get that. But I don’t believe her self-perception can ever change the absolute reality of the gender at birth of said body in question. I don’t know. Maybe someone can educate me, but I doubt it.

I don’t know what to make of the issues and possible solutions facing schools and bathrooms for transgender kids. There’s something unnerving and off-putting about a man in drag reading stories to really young children. And while I’m willing to address someone by whatever pronoun they desire, frankly it’s confusing.

Anyway, all this stuff is way beyond my pay grade and those decisions will be made by people far, far from Susanville. I haven’t been writing about any of that.

I decided to support Pride Month because it’s the most patriotic and American action I could ever take. Honestly, I felt compelled to do so. I felt it was my civic responsibility to my community, city, county state and nation as a member of an entity protected by the First Amendment — the press.

You see, there’s a disconnect between the myth of America and the truth of America. You must understand the difference in order to understand the reason I embarked on this journey. Let me explain.

Thomas Jefferson penned the most profound and the most liberal expression of liberty and equality in history when he wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Just imagine for a moment if you dare, the man who wrote this noble, all-inclusive statement owned about 600 human beings in his lifetime, and he even fathered at least six children with his mistress Sally Hemings, one of his enslaved persons.

Just imagine for a moment if you dare, that Jefferson’s words, overturning the divine right of kings and lifting every person to an equal position on the podium, did not include those enslaved who made up about 20 percent of the population. They did not include women or indigenous people, either.

For God’s sake, I was a teenager when Alabama Governor George Wallace delivered his inaugural speech in 1963, “Today I have stood, where once Jefferson Davis stood, and took an oath to my people. It is very appropriate then that from this Cradle of the Confederacy, this very Heart of the Great Anglo-Saxon Southland, that today we sound the drum for freedom as have our generations of forebears before us done, time and time again through history. Let us rise to the call of freedom- loving blood that is in us and send our answer to the tyranny that clanks its chains upon the South. In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say, segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”

Sadly, the actors may have changed in the past 70 years, but the struggle for equality and liberty remains the same.

Those God-endowed rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for the LGBTQ+ community are simply nonnegotiable.

And so I say, Happy Pride Month.