193 Reasons to Have Pride: Part One

BY Advocate Contributors

May 16 2011 4:00 AM ET

1 PIXEL GIF | ADVOCATE.COM

 BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK X390 | ADVOCATE.COM  

 Because
THE DOCUMENTARY LENS HAS FINALLY BEEN TRAINED ON BILL CUNNINGHAM
Before The Sartorialist, there was The New York Times’ inimitable street-style savant and photographer, who stars in Bill Cunningham New York, a new documentary about his life and work. “We all get dressed for Bill,” says Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

Because
SOME CHRISTIANS KNOW LOVE IS GREATER THAN HATE
Sure, we’ll never win over the Dobsons and Robertsons of the world, nor the publicity-mongering Phelps clan, but there are Christians advocating for LGBT equality in most mainline denominations and several interfaith organizations. Single-denomination groups like the United Methodists’ Affirmation, Catholicism’s DignityUSA, the Episcopal Church’s Integrity, and ecumenical efforts such as Soulforce, Believe Out Loud, and Faith in America are fighting for full acceptance of LGBT people in church doctrine and public policy. These Christian soldiers are waging some uphill battles, but they’ve also had some victories, and we’re glad to have fellowship with them.

Because
THE RAINBOW DELEGATION IS EVERYWHERE
Before he came out, college student and violinist Matthew Mazzei did not think there were many gay people in his hometown of Fresno, Calif. But then a project he started by asking his friends to increase LGBT visibility has shown him just how gay and gay-friendly Fresno actually is. In only six months Mazzei and his team of friends have sent 40,000 rainbow bracelets around the world, regardless of the requester’s ability to pay (he does accept optional donations). The goal of his organization, Rainbow Delegation, is simple: to spread awareness through a visual reminder that gay people and their allies are everywhere, from Salt Lake City to Ho Chi Minh City. “This project has given me a lot more confidence in myself,” he says. “It’s given me a passion and a focus for a cause. There are so many areas like Fresno where people of any age might feel rejected or marginalized. Now some kids will know they’re not alone.”

 

 PEREZ HILTON X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM  

 Because
PEREZ HILTON LEARNED TO PLAY NICE-ISH
The bad boy celebrity blogger made good on his vow to cease his bullying behavior. He stopped doodling coke boogers and semen on celebrity photos and even called a truce with former targets Fergie and will.i.am. Last March, Hilton turned his annual invitation-only birthday bash into a fund-raiser for GLSEN, raising nearly $13,000 for LGBT teenagers. September will see the publication of The Boy With Pink Hair, his first children’s book, which Hilton says will celebrate “individuality and self-acceptance and equality in readers of all ages.”

 FRED KARGER X390  

 Because
FRED KARGER IS THE FIRST OPENLY GAY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE
He’s angry, gay, and Republican, and even though Karger is an unlikely contender for the Oval Office, that doesn’t mean he lacks the goods. The California activist served as a senior consultant to the Ford, Reagan, and Bush senior presidential campaigns and, more recently, fought against Prop. 8 and its supporters, initiating a successful federal investigation into the finances of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its contributions to the antigay initiative.

Because
EQUALITY IS GOOD BUSINESS, AND COMPANIES KNOW IT
More and more corporations are recognizing our value as employees and consumers. A total of 337 companies, employing 8.3 million full-time U.S. workers, had a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for 2011, up from 305 the previous year and 13(!) when the index was launched in 2002. And while we were upset by recent political donations from “gay-friendly” companies to antigay candidates, there’s also new light shining on corporate giving.

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