An Open Letter on Pride
Brian Holt, brand manager of CHANNEL Q, shares why Pride is more than a month. It’s a stand for the LGBTQ+ community and its history.
I was recently asked, “What does it mean to celebrate Pride in 2023?” As the LGBTQ+ community faces a series of assaults, both literal and legislative, the answer has as much meaning today as ever before.
Celebrating Pride is not merely about celebrating sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s not just parties and parades. It is a symbolic stand against discrimination and violence; an acknowledgment of the battle for equal rights; and an expression of unity, love, and self-affirmation — counteracting erasure, silence, and invisibility that have long been imposed on our community.
Since the first march in 1970, Pride celebrations have represented a crucial acknowledgment of the history and achievements of LGBTQ+ individuals and promoted a world where everyone can live freely, authentically, and without fear. Sadly, the violent attacks, the harmful rhetoric, and a historic number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills signed into law this year remind us that our struggle is far from over, and we must march on.
Even as we progress toward equality, it is essential to note that these rights have not come easily; they are not universally accepted or protected and remain under serious threat. You need not look further than the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado, the attempt to outlaw drag performances in Tennessee, the passing of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, and the multitude of anti-trans bills everywhere, to realize that a significant backlash against the LGBTQ+ community and our hard-won rights is in full motion. The recent increase in hate and division cannot be ignored and only amplifies the urgency for our community and our allies to come together this Pride season and reconfirm that our party has a purpose.
Pride celebrations, this year and every year, play a key facet in demonstrating that love, unity, and the freedom to love and to be loved without prejudice are always cause for celebration—not just in June but all year long! As we like to say at Audacy and CHANNEL Q, “Pride is 365.”
Brian Holt, Brand Manager, CHANNEL Q