Long Beach is known for a few things, some we don’t need to mention that give it its Wrong Beach nickname, which either turn you off or, as for my husband and me, make you like it all the more. One in particular for which it is well known and helped to create its other nickname, The City of Diversity, is its diversity and climate of acceptance of gender ethnicity and everything else that makes us all different. That is one of the reasons I love Long Beach. It is quite a variable mix, and here in the heart of the city I see a lot as I go out scooting during the day.
At this time of the year that diversity is host to one of the largest Gay Pride Events in the country. Adding to that description I will note, proudly, that our parade is not only fun and kicky but very family friendly. Some parades, as we often observe, are not exactly G rated. Ours is, on the other hand, with every year having its own wonderful theme and flavor. This year the theme of the Pride weekend is “Pride Links Us Together.” I am unable to attend the events, but I feel like I am part of it and feel the pride that we enjoy in embracing each other regardless of preference or background. I sure wish I could see Queen Latifah tonight, another consummate lady of song who, like Donna Summer, RIP, always touched my soul with both her voice and the way she relates to her fans. I know it will be an incredible night of entertainment.
Years ago it was thought, much by assumption and collection of very unreliable data, that lesbians had a much higher rate of breast cancer. Now, we know that while lesbians may have a collection of risk factors that make breast cancer more likely, no reliable data are collected for this demographic. The National LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Cancer Network speaks clearly to this issue in their article Lesbians and Breast Cancer Risk. Regardless of your views, you may find some surprising issues facing this demographic when you read this article. I urge readers to read this brief article for a bit more understanding, especially us who are battling this disease together. Having our own views is welcome; embracing each other regardless of gender identification or practice helps us to look past differences and toward reasons we should band together and embrace one another.
I hope many in the metastatic breast cancer community will share the same kind of pride that we celebrate here in Long Beach this weekend. It is time for us to open not just our minds but our hearts toward the differences and embrace our similarities in a community that has much more to win by loving each other than by hating or judging.5 6 7 8 © 2004–2012 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.