Opinion: Lubbock Really Isn’t the Best Place to Celebrate Pride Month
No matter your thoughts on it, Pride Month is a big deal. It seems like every company in America has added a rainbow to their logo, and most cities are celebrating with parades, events or proclamations. Being a college town, you'd think that Lubbock would be a hub in West Texas for LGBTQ+ causes and tolerance, especially during Pride Month.
And you'd be dead wrong.
Lawnstarter.com (a lawn care website -- go figure) has have ranked the most LGBTQ+ friendly cities in America, and not surprisingly, Lubbock did not fare well.
Out of almost 200 large cities nationwide, Lubbock ranked in the bottom 25 percent of cities open to the LGBTQ+ lifestyle. The city came in at no. 159 on the list.
Yeah, it's apparently not very prideful here in West Texas.
Not surprisingly, Austin scores the highest among Texas cities for LGBTQ+ acceptance (at no. 34), but Texas as a whole does not fare well. In fact, 6 of the bottom 10 cities on the list are in the Lone Star State.
If there's a silver lining to this as far as West Texas is concerned, Lubbock is more tolerant than Amarillo and Midland when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community and causes. But the city is certainly not an "out and proud" environment. Which begs the question: does Lubbock really care about the LGBTQ+ community?
Short answer: not really. Our pronouns, after all, are Whataburger/Chick-fil-A.
Here in Lubbock, pride means something totally different than the national narrative. We celebrate Texas pride and fly flags supporting our local college teams, stuff like that. Rainbow flags are few and far between here on the South Plains.
I really don't care who you love or what you do in your private business. That seems to be the Lubbock way. Do what you want, but don't tell me I'm wrong if I disagree with you. Yes, love is love. However, your level of ignorance directly relates to exactly where you are standing in the world at any given moment. So don't get upset when someone doesn't understand the importance of why you display a Pride flag. You're not wrong, but neither are they, and you're probably not going to change their mind. Show tolerance and be the bigger person. That door swings both ways, you know.
After all, I've seen some of the most "tolerant" people here in Lubbock (and elsewhere), have the narrowest of minds. And yes, that's on BOTH sides. I consider myself on the conservative side, yet have many dear friends, family members and co-workers who identify as LGBTQ+. I value you as a person, not who you sleep with. Open your mind and you might make a new friend, no matter if you are gay or straight.
Personally, I'll visit any business regardless of if they fly a rainbow flag or one that says "Let's Go Brandon." I live here because I identify with the values of the community, but I'm not going to vilify or disrespect anyone who doesn't agree with me.
I love you all.