Celebrating Diversity This Month and Every Month
For nearly 50 years, the LGBTQ community has commemorated “Pride” during the month of June, as it resulted from the Stonewall Riots that occurred in Greenwich Village on June 28, 1969. Widely considered the birth of the modern gay liberation movement—later encompassing the LGBT rights movement—Pride continues to serve as an annual reminder of the importance of advocating for full equality for all, and for celebrating our diversity and just how far we’ve come as a community!
These past few months have been an especially emotional and reflective period for many of us here at CAMP Rehoboth. But as we celebrate Pride this month, I’ve thought a lot about the tremendous pride that I, and I’m certain many others, feel by being a part of this amazing organization. To a great extent, this pride stems from the presence CAMP Rehoboth has established over the last 30 years and how it has evolved into part of the fabric of the overall Rehoboth Beach community.
The March passing of CAMP Rehoboth co-founder and former Executive Director, Steve Elkins, has made that point even more clear, as evidenced by the outpouring of support from here and across the region and state.
Those of us in leadership roles in the organization are inspired and determined to see the valuable services and programs he directed continue. Towards that end, the Board is working collaboratively with Interim Executive Director Murray Archibald and other key individuals, and assessing current and future organizational needs for CAMP Rehoboth. We are a proud and resolute group!
Recently, I asked fellow Board members what makes them proud of being a part of CAMP Rehoboth. For 27 of the 50+ years our Treasurer, Natalie Moss, has visited, lived, and worked in Rehoboth, she has been involved in its operations and the Board. “Over the years, we have created change and goodwill in our beloved beach community, stepped up as our rights were being questioned, and now we continue to provide a great service to our community. We should all celebrate with pride the contributions of CAMP Rehoboth.”
For Mark Purpura, attorney, and President of Equality Delaware, “I am proud that, over a quarter of a century ago, CAMP Rehoboth dared to dream that Rehoboth Beach could be a community with room for all. With hard work and strong leadership it’s seen that become reality.”
Returning Board member and former Secretary, Glen Pruitt responded, “CAMP Rehoboth’s work has always been about building relationships. It is through relationship that people see how much they have in common, which in turn helps them accept (and sometimes celebrate) the differences that once kept them apart. It’s peace-making at its purest. I love that part of our mission, and I’m proud being a part of that.”
And while accomplishments are a source of great pride, we also realize there is important work yet to be done. Tara Sheldon writes, “our community has celebrated amazing achievements even within the last several years. Sadly, we are still up against difficult challenges, many of which are impacting the most vulnerable among us, our LGBTQ youth. As a parent of a school-aged child impacted by the current battles, I am honored and proud to have such an incredible team beside me.”
We couldn’t agree with you more, Tara. With this talented, dedicated, and hard-working team we will face the difficult challenges and together continue the mission and vision of CAMP Rehoboth into the future. That is something we can all be proud of.
Happy Pride to one and all! ▼
Chris Beagle is President of the CAMP Rehoboth Board of Directors and is a realtor at Berkshire Hathaway - Gallo Realty in Rehoboth Beach.