It’s been quite a week, full of events and opportunities to meet new friends, acquaintances, allies, and – why not?! – possible love interests. Last night, United Latino Pride closed its first ever Chicago Queer Latin@ Pride Week with the annual Queer Latin@ Picnic sponsored by Orgullo en Acción and then later in the evening with a night of partying and dancing at After Dark. A fitting way to end a stellar week of events that highlight our unique Queer Latin@ experiences.
But what made it such a fitting end? Well, as activists, we often are forced to give up our social life for all the work that needs to get done, much to the chagrin of our friends, families, and loved ones. Every member of the United Latino Pride coalition has contributed their own time, money, and energy to ensure this week was a success. But not everything should be all work and no fun. Food, music, and yes, alcohol have a certain je ne sais quoi that allows even the most uptight among us, to let loose and celebrate.
Yes, a lot needs to get done to ensure that one day we may all be treated with dignity in this society that currently looks down upon us because of our language, our culture, our gender, and our sexuality. But, it does us all a lot of good to get together with friends, family, and loved ones and celebrate the life and love that we currently have. It reminds us all exactly why it is we are fighting for justice. It’s not just for ourselves, it’s for those we love most as well.
I can’t help but be a bit sad as I write this. I regret not being able to go to as many events as I had anticipated. However, I am also excited for next year. Who knows what is in store for us all. Let’s hope it’s bigger and better! A very big thank you goes out to all the members of United Latino Pride and all the organizations and sponsors for the events. Without all your tireless effort, we wouldn’t have had any of this. You are our real orgullo! ¡Hasta el próximo año!