We have come so far, but have so far to go.

For so many reasons, Pride feels different this year: No parades. No festivals. Just the stark realization of how far we have come -- and how much farther we need to go to achieve true equity in our communities.

It is easy to think back fondly on that moment five years ago today, when the Supreme Court ruled that love was the law of the land, and forget the pain and struggles that led to that moment.

The Stonewall uprising against police brutality and harassment was a catalyst for the gay rights movement. Yet, right here at home, more than 50 years later, BlPOC are being murdered at the hands of those charged with protecting us.

Our communities are hurting. We see this hurt in the vulnerability of our LGBTQ

youth. In the rampant sexual assault and domestic abuse. In the constant misrepresentation, misunderstanding, and misgendering of those of us that are forced to live in fear because of who we are or who we love. In every murder that goes without justice.

We have come so far, but have so far to go.

Pride is usually a moment for us to be able to come out from the shadows and be unabashedly proud of who we are and the community to which we belong. This year, between a pandemic and senseless murders of unarmed black people, we aren't going to be able to celebrate the way that many of us have had the privilege to come to expect the last weekend in June. Nor should we.

So, while we may miss the glitter and pomp and circumstance this year, we at Apparatus will use this time to resolve ourselves to continue fighting for equity and justice for us all -- and for a future of which we can all be proud.

Happy Pride, Minnesota.

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