Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first Pride parade, held one year after the Stonewall Uprising in New York City.

A year ago I was where it all happened. I was in New York City for my brother’s wedding, and in the evening we decided to go into the West Village to continue celebrating. We took it all in, and we found a nice spot to settle in for the evening with family and friends.

Things are very different this year, of course.

Even so, I draw inspiration from that evening because the celebration of love, community, and acceptance that we saw was never a sure thing. It took courage and dedication to fight for change, not only then, but over and over and persistently for many years.

The Pride celebrations I saw last year reflected that journey, and they serve as a reminder that although equality never comes easy (and that the work is never truly done), care, compassion and human dignity always win out.

I hope we all continue to be inspired to live our lives to the fullest, to be our true selves, and to keep doing the work of building a world where everyone is accepted for who they are.

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