Celebrating Pride

 In Community News

Each June, Pride is celebrated to promote the constant fight for equality in the LGBTQIA+ community. A platform to promote diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, Pride is a wonderful celebration rooted in a peaceful protest to open the eyes of those who struggle to see outside the binary to understand that gender and sexuality are fluid, and that these differences are what make people unique.

Pride Month at the Hearthstone was an opportunity for residents and staff to come together and celebrate everyone’s identities and stories while fostering love and acceptance. In addition to a month-long Film Festival, we hosted a week of activities leading up to a community-wide Celebration on the last Friday of the month.  The week’s activities included Pride Tie Dye, a guest speaker from University of Washington’s Goldsen Institute on Creating Safe Spaces, a floor/building decoration competition and the Friday afternoon celebration.

Our Pride Film Festival—and subsequent post-film discussions—kicked off with 2010’s Beginners, featuring a man who comes out in his seventies, followed by My Name is Pauli Murray, which explores the life and ideas of a non-binary black lawyer, activist and poet. Next up was Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, followed by Tomboy, which examines the complexity of gender roles for a 10-year-old.

The festival culminated with the screening of Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story, a true story based on a book by the same name. After disclosing her sexual orientation during a routine 1989 security review, Colonel Cammermeyer was involuntarily discharged from The Washington State National Guard. She mounted a robust legal challenge and in June 1994, her discharge and the ban on gays and lesbians serving in the military were ruled unconstitutional. After the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” policy was enacted that same year, Cammermeyer spent seventeen years advocating for it’s repeal. In 2011 she led the Pledge of Allegiance at the ceremony of President Obama’s repeal signing. In 2012, after same-sex marriage was legalized in our state, Colonel Cammermeyer and her partner Diane Divelbess became the first same-sex couple to receive a marriage license in Island County.

The screening of Serving in Silence was preceded by several original songs by the Derivative Duo (Barb Glenn and Susan Nivert), one of which was written to honor Cammermeyer. It was an honor to host Divelbess and Cammermeyer for the screening, after which she lead an in-depth post-film discussion and signed copies of her book.

Pictured left to right: Hearthstone resident Linda, Glenn, Divelbess, Cammermeyer, Hearthstone resident Rita, Nivert