Pride is: “Confidence and self-respect as expressed by members of a group, typically one that has been socially marginalized, on the basis of their shared identity, culture, and experience.”
Late night thoughts enter our minds and sometimes we let them reverberate off into the distance until morning light, when they’ve all but vanished. It helps to have an outlet for such ideas and today I want to talk about what pride means to me.
Years ago when I was unsure about myself, I can honestly say I didn’t go to pride fests nor pride parades. Why would I? To me it was a place I didn’t belong (yet). But, I remember wanting to go soooo badly. It’s where I wanted to be year after year. Hire someone to doll me up and just go out and be me. It was cowardice which held me back. The fear of losing. Losing what?
The fear of losing what didn’t belong to me in the first place. People who truly love me inside and outside. There is an amazing person inside all of us, but not everyone can or tries to see it. I regret wasting my love on those types of “friends.” Why is it every year when I go to pride there are hundreds of strangers waiting to accept me? Because of Pride.
The term “family” coined sometime in the 80’s best describes the feeling. Pride is truly a family event. At pride your crazy aunt dances but this time no one gets embarrassed. Cousins greet you as if they haven’t seen you in years. There are uncles, brothers, sisters, siblings, in-laws, friends, and most of all love. Strangers stand in booths waiting to offer free Mom Hugs to those who were not afforded these luxuries growing up.
Protest all you want! I’ve been to church. I’ve been to many concerts and social gatherings. There is nothing like Pride. A wave of love and acceptance washes over your soul as soon as you walk up. So many smiles on so many faces – it’s home. Only once per year do we get this ultimate utopia. Then there are those who want to mock the little time we do get to express ourselves.
This year, I’ve learned Love in any form is as real as the dirt we stand on for however long we have. No one can tell me different. I’m not an abomination! I’m not evil. I feel so much love and compassion in my heart for everyone I came across today. Pride in myself for attending just a second year in a row, and pride in meeting some of the most wonderful people. Hopefully next year I’ll be a little tipsy too. LOVE IS LOVE.
To my Siblings in the LGBTQIA – you have melted my heart yet again. Stay beautiful, and thank you so much!