Pride Month in San Francisco concludes Sunday with the annual parade up Market Street. Carolyn and I have a personal connection. 

We have a trans son, Yosi, and a gay son, Aaron—and gay son-in-law Jeremy. Also, a straight son, Seth. We love them equally. 

Pride serves as a celebration for two straight parents who learned over time that our children each marched to their own drummer—and accepted that.

Getting our heads around Aaron’s being gay was a challenge, but a small one. Like most parents of our generation, we’d never anticipated a gay child. But we understood what being gay—or lesbian—was about. And while we were digesting the reality that Aaron was gay—not a long process—we never turned our back on him. Your child is your child.

Grasping having a trans son was harder. Again, we never rejected Yosi. But decades ago, we lacked the information available now. We traveled along a somewhat puzzling learning curve. Yosi provided many valuable lessons. 

We discovered that the trans lifestyle can be very different from what Carolyn and I grew up with and knew. But we took a simple approach to what many people turn into a contentious issue: Every human being is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). As such, all people are entitled to live their own lives, as long as they do so with honesty and integrity. Like our children do.

Feelings of pride often are misused. Are LGBTQ+ folks superior to straight folks? No. Vice-versa, no again. Can one queer group justify seeing itself as better than others? I’ve learned there’s a certain amount of antipathy among LGBTQ+ groups. A shame.

Pride also creates difficulties when misused by ethnic groups. I’m a proud Jew. I don’t suggest that Jews are better than other people, religious or secular. Rather, I refuse to become invisible, yield to the concept of a Christian America. I have every right to be recognized and treated as a first-class citizen here and a first-class human being worldwide.

Unfortunately, a substantial number of people among the world’s various national, ethnic and religious groups project pride as superiority. Vladimir Putin views Russia as the world’s champion of Christianity and morality. He hates LGBTQ+ folks. That’s also the party line followed by America’s far-right Christian nationalists.

Globally, hatred masquerades as pride both in word and deed. reports that “12 countries have jurisdictions in which the death penalty is imposed or at least a possibility for private, consensual same-sex sexual activity. At least 6 [sic] of these implement the death penalty – Iran, Northern Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen.”

Leaders and people in nations with Christian, Muslim, Hindu—even Jewish—majorities often view differentas evil.

Jewish–LGBTQ+ people face special challenges. Sadly, Hamas’s October 7 atrocities in Israel and the subsequent war in Gaza have split LGBTQ+ Jews as they have straight Jews.

How do Carolyn and I celebrate Pride? We publicly continue supporting all the components of the LGBTQ+ community—and our kids. I’m proud that Yosi and Aaron demonstrate their pride not through claims of superiority but by standing up and insisting, “I am.”

May everyone on the planet share that kind of pride. And be offered the respect they deserve.

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