While global protests and vigils have become common place under Trump, for Democrats Abroad, the longstanding tradition of celebrating and marching with PRIDE remains as positive as ever.
Pride celebrations in the US usually end by June 30th, but events in global cities take place all summer long, with Democrats Abroad members joining in the fun and recognizing the LGBTI community around the world.
This year, Democrats Abroad are joining parades, parties and other events including panel discussions and voter registration drives, and supporting the Global Pride March in Madrid — a celebration of the LGBTI community and also a somber demonstration for LGBTI rights as global human rights.
“We’re trying to coordinate Pride events on a global scale,” said Bob Vallier, Co-Chair of the Democrats Abroad LGBT Caucus. “These are always popular, and this year more than ever, participating is important.”
Even parade participation is on the rise. At the Christopher Street Day in Cologne, for example, Democrats Abroad has previously held an information stand. This year, for the first time, members joined in the fun of the parade itself, marching, cheering, dancing and handing out voting information, with participants from across Germany including soldiers stationed in Germany and students who joined along the way.
As Angela Fobbs, Global Black Caucus Chair and Florida voter, noted, “One of the best things about this march was the reaction from the crowd. Everyone was so glad to see the American resistance in the march. We received cheers, applause, flowers and other tokens of affection. It was awesome, and it gave us all a boost of confidence and validation that we are right to oppose the Republicans and the Trump administration. We are on the right side of history and doing the right thing.”
Democrats Abroad also joined in this year’s famous Amsterdam Parade, where parade floats do just that — float down the Amsterdam canals! The organization has always proudly supported Pride in Amsterdam, but 2018 marked the first Democrats Abroad “FUNdraiser” for members, with a boat on the canal for prime parade viewing and celebrating. Over 40 members joined the sold-out event and were warmly welcomed with cheers of solidarity from other boats, parade watchers and performers. As always, Democrats Abroad Pride posters were a big hit, and with such positive response, we can look forward to this FUNdraiser becoming an annual event.
Quaide Williams, who votes in Texas, said, “Today’s Pride was one of the best I’ve ever been a part of! Thanks to all the great (and straight!) Democrats who came from across Europe to celebrate Pride together. This is what it means to be a Democrat: sure, I’m here for myself, but I’m here for you, too!”
Americans abroad are very aware of the Trump administration’s continued attack on LGBTI rights — including but not limited to attempts to ban transgender people in the military, nominating anti-LGBTI judges to lifelong appointments, and establishing the Religious LIberty Task Force, which aims to discriminate against members of the LGBTI community among others.
We will not go back. And we also will not let this administration ruin what Pride is meant to be — a positive celebration of the LGBTI community, and a demonstration that LGBTI individuals are a visible, valued part of the greater community, owed the same rights as everyone else.
The summer's not over yet, so check out our upcoming events, and be sure to join the LGBT caucus to get updates for next year, when we’ll be commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and continue celebrating our community while defending our rights, with pride.
Be prepared! That means comfortable shoes, sunscreen, ponchos, snacks and drinks
Be attention-grabbers! Bring portable speakers to blast music, bring confetti or other fun things to throw into the crowd, prepare chants and simple dances to do during the march, and consider matching outfits or a theme for your group.
Be big! The larger your group, the bigger the impact.
Be proud Democrats Abroad! Even at Pride events, fans will cheer for your American flag — especially when it’s accompanied by a banner, signs, Statue of Liberty costumes, and Vote From Abroad postcards to hand out.
Interested in organizing a Democrats Abroad group at your local Pride event? Reach out to the LGBT caucus.