We Will Gather, We Will March, We Will Celebrate

Pittsburgh City Councilman Bruce Kraus

I sat down to write this column any number of times over the last weeks, and each time stumbled as I struggled to find positivity within such troubling times. 

In the now fifty years that I have lived my life openly as a gay man, I am hard-pressed to remember a time when there has been such an organized and orchestrated effort to damage and dismantle our community and all we have struggled to achieve within these past decades. 

Messaging paraded so carelessly and caustically about, as though to imply that all that is wrong with our world today can be laid at the feet of LGBTQIA+ people, what we stand for and all we attempt to be and achieve.

Hard-fought advances we have made to undo the harm created by political and religious systems, with the purpose of vilifying us and poisoning public institutions against our community, are now deeply in danger of surviving and thriving.

While we may be powerless to control the “noise” that permeates the daily airwaves, and the damage and destruction it intends, the power we do own lies within the truth of who we are and all we continually contribute to create and maintain a better world. Regardless of those who would seek to harm us, we flourish in the knowledge of who we inherently are and all that God intends for us to be and become in this life.

In celebrating this PRIDE we will shed the shackles of hate and oppression that some would have us to wear, and freely rejoice with the ones we love and the ones who love us. We will mark our milestones and plan for our futures. We will take the time to be present in this moment in time, and claim our right simply to be and become.

We will gather, we will march, we will dance, we will laugh, we will sing, we will celebrate and in so doing we will create a better world for us all. We will recognize our love of ourselves and of one another. In this moment our minds will take rest from the fight, and we will acknowledge our rightful place in the world and all we offer humankind.

No one can take from us what we don’t willingly surrender. So take refuge from these difficult times and find comfort in the celebration of us. Because regardless of those who would seek to undo us, we will always reach for the stars and all that is possible, because it is who we are. 

And we are! And we are going to be!

Happy PRIDE my family of friends!

Bruce Kraus
Pittsburgh City Council
District 3

For over 15 years, City Councilman Bruce Kraus has represented Pittsburgh City Council District 3 which includes the neighborhoods of Allentown, Arlington, Beltzhoover, Central and South Oakland, Knoxville, and the South Side flats and slopes. He is the first openly gay member of Pittsburgh City Council and served as Council President from 2014 to 2020. Councilman Kraus will retire at the end of 2023. Thank you for your service to our community Councilman!