I live in Castro Valley, not the Castro. We’re a small town (not even a city for crying out loud) and we’re very suburban—almost rural—and honestly you can’t go to Safeway or Starbucks without seeing someone you know.
I love that about Castro Valley. But rainbow flags are pretty scarce here, and the loudest voice for LGBT rights is typically mine through letters to the editor and online via the Patch.
So imagine my surprise to see a Facebook event promoting a ! I messaged the people listed as creators of the event and I discovered two local teenagers who just wanted to get involved and make a difference in their community.
We met over coffee at Peets to discuss logistics and how I could help out, because I have some experience with marches & rallies, and because this just might turn into something bigger, who knows?
I wanted to provide guidance, and I wanted make sure everyone stayed safe and had some fun while getting the message of love and equality out to our Castro Valley neighbors.
I found Frankie Canto and Johnna Murch (both Castro Valley High School seniors) to be engaging, bright and thoughtful teens who were clearly very excited about their Pride idea. From my perspective these brave kids who are willing to get involved and help others overcome bigotry and intolerance are the future of our country.
They understand that those of us who are born gay are not sinners out to destroy marriage or the world. We are simply your neighbors and your friends.
We want the same things in life that you want. In my neighborhood there are four gay households—one couple is legally married with children, one couple just has cats, but there is nothing remarkable or threatening about any of us.
It’s not the Castro; it’s Castro Valley! Just as gay people and gay families live and work in towns & cities all over America, we live here with you in CV, and our relationships are just as important as yours.
We should be treated equally under the law. If you agree that it’s time to put away intolerance and instead embrace the diversity that America truly stands for, come march with Frankie & Johnna on July 23. We look forward to meeting you.
CASTRO VALLEY PRIDE 2011 https://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=212650075446539
Date: Saturday, July 23
Time: 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Start: Castro Valley Boulevard and Marshall Street
End: Community Center on Lake Chabot Road