We here at Bluegrass Pride didn't set out this year with a carefully thought out plan for how to grow, or what new things we wanted to accomplish. Honestly, most of the plans we did make got thrown out or updated along the way to parade day.
The growth and gains we have made all came about organically as we pushed ourselves to do the best we could for this family we have built over the past 18 months. The love we have for each other and for all of you drives us to work harder and do more, every day.
This beautiful and inspiring journey is chock full of hardworking individuals and organizations. Each time I’d hear of another component of the project, I’d just get that warm and fuzzy feeling in my heart. This is what communities do for each other. This is what family and neighbors do for each other. They lift one another up, support one another. They build strong foundations, knowing that a strong base can only create a strong future.
I want to be sure that Bluegrass Pride is not about being proud to be a bluegrass musician, but about supporting people who need to be supported. If we are supporting queers in bluegrass, then we have to show that support in our daily lives as well. Bluegrass Pride should recognize that we are aligning ourselves against injustices inside AND outside of the bluegrass community. Discrimination within the bluegrass community reflects the issues in our local communities as well
I have to say that the bluegrass community has generally been incredibly welcoming and accepting of me, even though, as a half-Jewish young woman, I don’t quite fit the classic bluegrass “mold.” Luckily, there are some role models for me right here in my neighborhood with whom I share some characteristics – Kathy Kallick and Suzy Thompson for starters – and so I have never felt too much out of place. However, growing up in the scene, there were still norms and traditions that felt too powerful to push back against.
Pride, for me, is somewhat of a self-contained thing: it’s more important where I am now to be proud of myself, of the fact that I’m gay and that I survived long enough to feel okay writing that phrase and publishing it, than it is to be proud in defiance of someone else. Bluegrass is an interior thing, too: I can jam in a community, I can have a wonderful time, but the joy I feel spools back into that high lonesome sound. That loneliness, that otherness. Playing with other people shows me it’s better to be lonely together.