Pride season is upon us, and this year we’re ringing it in by spotlighting the folks who make us proud to show up to work each day — the artists, activists, performers and personalities who make our community shine.
Rep. Brian Sims is a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He is also a lawyer, LGBTQ activist, and former college football jock. 38-year-old Sims is the first openly gay elected state legislator in his state’s history.
Describe your first Pride.
My first Pride was actually Philadelphia Pride in 2004 about 6 weeks after I moved to Philadelphia. I was studying for the Bar Exam and living in West Philly and it was my second venture into the Gayborhood (where I moved about 8 weeks later). I think like a lot of people experiencing their first Pride, I was really overwhelmed by the shear number of people who’d turned out to celebrate. In my personal life I had a lot of straight allies and it was very affirming to see a strong ally presence but to see such a large number of really bright and colorful LGBTQ people was a moment I’ll never forget.
Which city’s Pride is on your bucket list?
I’m told that Toronto does one of the most amazing Pride’s in North America so I definitely want to make sure I get there at some point soon but to be honest, most of my favorite Pride events have been in smaller cities and towns. Big cities are good at big parades and big events but if you ever want to really feel the meaning of Pride, consider going to Pride in a small town or city.
Who is your dream Pride performer?
My dream Pride singer would be Ariel (errr, Jodi Benson) because I’ve already got plenty of thingamabobs.
Does Pride feel different this year?
Pride feels very different this year because it’s as much a call to action, as a celebration of who we are and how far we’ve come. In year’s past we had so much to celebrate that we oftentimes didn’t use Pride to remind ourselves of how much more we had to do. Now, under the Trump administration, it’s clearer than ever before that we need to use the strength in our numbers to demand that our rights be recognized and that our jobs, our lives, and our relationships be fully protected under the law.
Where will you be celebrating Pride this year?
This year for pride I’m heading to Washington DC to celebrate National Pride and to join the chorus of LGBTQ voices across the country who are declaring that we will not be marginalized or discriminated against by our government and that we will not stand by while a vengeful and likely illegitimate President tries to use us in some bigoted, multi-national, megalomaniacal game of poker… and besides, his hands are too small to hold the cards!