Taos Pride was honored to be part of the Fourth of July parade in Arroyo Seco. It was especially meaningful this year, and not just because this is the 50th anniversary of the …
Taos Pride was honored to be part of the Fourth of July parade in Arroyo Seco. It was especially meaningful this year, and not just because this is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which helped fuel the modern LGBTQ rights movement, and the 10th anniversary of our organization. The thing that made it most special was that in the midst of the parade, two people from our community were married.
In the back of a red pickup truck festooned in rainbows, in the middle of the parade, Isaac and Monica professed their love for each other, for all the world to see. The crowd went wild. Some of us cried. It was really, really special.
It hasn't always been like that, where we could love each other in front of our friends and family, where we could dress how we wanted to, where we could simply be who we are.
There's at least one person in Arroyo Seco who still doesn't want to count us as his neighbor or sit with us around the table of love.
About an hour before the parade started, Fr. Angelo Marquez of Holy Trinity Catholic Church asked two people with Taos Pride to move our float, which was parked near the church and was part of the official parade lineup. If that had been the extent of the request, it would've been fine. But he asked us to move specifically so the church would not be "associated with your organization." Before we even had a chance to say anything, he said it was private property, insinuating he could make us leave.
We regret this encounter happened at all, but most especially because of who initiated it. Jesus, the foundation of that church, preached a wisdom beyond shallow tolerance or acceptance, but radical, universal love. We are left to wonder, if he were walking in the Fourth of July parade in Arroyo Seco in 2019, what would Jesus do? Certainly not what Fr. Marquez did.
We were shaken. There's a long history of violence against queers - of murders of trans women, of fag bashing, of kicking kids out of their homes because they were gay, lesbian, bi, trans or even just asking the questions. What happened July 4th wasn't that, but it was a sad vestige of that same homophobia. We were OK; we moved the truck, consoled each other and got back to jazzing everyone up for the wedding.
But we worry about the LGBTQ congregants of the Arroyo Seco church and members of any house of worship that puts hate and callousness before love and care. If they're told to move because of who they are, do they have any place to go?
We welcome reconciliation with the priest in Arroyo Seco. A written apology would be a good first step. We'd also welcome a dialogue, to sit down with faith leaders across the community to talk about what we can do to support queer people who still, to this day, deal with harassment, bigotry and quiet moments of exclusion.
The parade started and as we moved down the road, everybody showered the Taos Pride walkers with smiles, waves and big love. When we got to the center of the village, Isaac and Monica were married -- a high note of their personal journeys and a triumph for our community.
We invite all LGBTQ folks and allies to our community to join us for Taos Pride.
We hope you join us, because in our house, we won't ask you to move out of the way. In our house, we won't ask you to be anything other than who you are. In our house, we won't show you anything other than radical, universal love. These chances to gather together are more than mere celebrations. They are love letters to our community. Prayers to our community. Because in the end, love truly wins.
Taos Pride board members Katy Ballard, Enrico Trujillo, Alexy Lathrop and Cody Hooks are Taos County residents. Hooks is a former Taos News reporter.
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