Brad Peacock: The meaning of Bennington's Pride Parade

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My husband and I attended Bennington's first ever Pride Parade on Saturday and I am so proud of my community. None of this would have been possible without the vision and dedication of Lisa Carton, Queer Connect, and the legion of volunteers who made the parade a resounding success. Hundreds of people showed up to march and many more lined the streets of downtown cheering and supporting one another in a scene that was truly inspiring to see, a memory that will last my entire life. I would like to give thanks to all the allies who showed up Saturday, many who have stood by the LGBTQ community and fought at our sides for many years to make our communities, state and country a more open, loving, and equal place.

Pride is not all about being a part of the LGBTQ family. It is about celebrating diversity within our communities, it is about showing those still struggling with their identities that you can live out and proud, and it is about celebrating all of us who have stood shoulder to shoulder for equality. Pride is about honoring and giving thanks to all those we have lost, who paved the way for us to be marching together, and recognizing one another for exactly who we are, and who we love.

It has been 50 years since the Stonewall riots, an act of bravery that many believe was the beginning of the modern gay rights movement. We have come a long way since, and yes there are obstacles to overcome, there are still barriers to break down, but I know in my heart, that united together as we were on the streets of Bennington this past weekend it is only a matter of time before we reach full equality.

Please have faith that by teaching our children that compassion is patriotic, and by our example of leading with love and kindness, we will show our future generations that anything is possible when we grow, celebrate and move forward together.

Take a bow, Bennington. The way we showed up this weekend will help save lives.

Brad Peacock has been a farmer for the last 15 years at Clear Brook Farm, and is a former candidate for the U.S. Senate. He and his husband live in Shaftsbury.



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