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Avi Edelman, ’22SPS, Nonprofit Management, on Why Pride Is an Important Concept

Avi Edelman, ’22SPS, Nonprofit Management, is the Associate Director of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Education for Columbia College and Columbia Engineering. 

He shares a photo alongside reflections on what Pride month means to him. 

“IF YOU THINK GAYS ARE REVOLTING … WE ARE!,” rally against police harassment, Houston, Texas, April 1979. Photo from Upfront Magazine, c/o the Botts Collection of LGBT History.


This image, of queer activists leading a citywide demonstration against police violence in Houston in 1979, reminds us why pride is an important concept: in a world that continues to rigidly police gender and sexuality—literally and figuratively—and subject trans and queer people (especially trans and queer people who live at the intersections of other forms of oppression) to violence and degradation, loving the parts of ourselves that we have been taught to hate becomes a powerful act of rebellion.

To me, celebrating pride is not about thirty days of rainbow corporate logos, or even about whatever celebratory email or website you are reading this in, it's about each of us asking how we can materially contribute to trans and queer liberation. And how we can push our institutions, especially those that embrace this month's celebrations, to do the same. Because our world still thinks trans and queer people are revolting. And so we must still be in revolt.