By Noah Parks

June 1st, 2021 was like a relief when it came.  The colors, the pageantry, the joy, the love, and the honesty are the panacea that society needs right now.  Pride month is always an excellent time to reflect on the progress made and the history that is continuing to be written about the struggle for equality and equity in the LGBTQIA+ community.  This year though, with restrictions lifting, the vaccinations flowing, and neighborhoods bustling again, we can actually party.  Which is why I’m excited for the Pride Parade.  I never get excited for the parade but this year it should never stop.  To make up for the void that was 2020, Pride month, for those who celebrate, should be as joyful and exuberant as possible.  In fact I’d say blast your favorite, “OMG I have to dance” song whenever you want and let yourself enjoy who you are!  

I’m not someone that hails from this community but, having worked in the hospitality industry and the theatre community here in NYC I’m very much an ally.  Some of the most forward thinking and progressive people in my life were members of the LGBTQIA+ community.  However, some were like Caitlynn Jenner or at least very moderate.  And that’s what it’s all about: inclusivity.  The transformative power of being immersed in this community was the love they show regardless of how the rest of society treats them.  It is a virtue to turn the other cheek and they showed me that the person raising their hand has a part to play in the transformation.  Changing people’s hearts and minds with violence only instills fear.  The LGBTQIA+ community is not afraid.  They use their patience to let the blowhard turn blue in the face.  Then, they say, “Don’t you feel better?” and pat that person on the back.  

Now this isn’t to say they don’t have power.  The power they exercise is love.  This is where HMG+ has always found their place with the LGBTQIA+ family.  In hospitality staffing, HMG+ is delivering community and inclusivity within our teams in the New York area. We all use love to show how strong we are.  Love in the face of aggression always wins because love inspires and begets more love.  If you’ve ever been to Pride event or lucky enough to go to a wedding with Gay or non-binary partners it is a celebration that you cannot replicate. This love shows the way in a weary world filled with tired, lonely people that have spent a year in lockdown, lost family or friends, and never been to the office for the company they work for.  Love in the month of Pride is the fuel on a fire of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Indeed it is why I’ve titled this piece, “Don’t stop ’til you get enough”.  I believe after 2020, the devastation of the pandemic, the seemingly daily attacks on marginalized communities, that now is the time to celebrate the love that’s possible.  The time to show there is a better way to love one another, regardless of who you love, is now.  Whatever color of the Pride flag you fall under, take time and reflect this month on the progress, the history, and the work yet to be done and get excited to find where love can take us all.  “So let love take us through the hours, I won’t be complaining, ‘cause this love is power”!



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