I know my reflections on Pride Month are delayed this year. It feels important to acknowledge that up front. No, I’m not working on some totally different calendar than the rest of you (though, admittedly, COVID really threw off my internal sense of time!). It’s just that I’ve been thinking about Pride Month a whole extra lot since May, and it took this long to organize some of my words. I’m feeling lots of things about it; Pride had some added flavor for me this year, and it added complexity (Good flavor! Good flavor! But still – complexity.).
And with this complexity, I find myself really wondering, “What does it mean to have PRIDE?” And so…
I’ve been thinking a lot about Pride this year, and the Prides that have existed in the past – their roots in riot. And I’m thinking about the 5 year anniversary of the Pulse shooting. And the rage and beauty and loss and grit of my fellow LGBTQIA+ community members. I’m remembering that being genuine is hard. Living authentically is sometimes unsafe. And I’m feeling grateful for all the ways each of us in the LGBTQIA+ community show up.
While many prevalent images of modern-day Pride in the States are flags, festivals, and parades — living a life of Pride doesn’t always look this way. Sometimes, Pride is adding your pronouns to your “Hi, My name is” sticker. Sometimes, Pride is listening to your favorite song alone in the car, reminding yourself of your inner strength. Sometimes Pride is saying, “Don’t say that; it’s inappropriate” or “I AM the real parent” or “Don’t bring any of those gender stereotypes here.”
Pride is for those of us who are out. And Pride is for those of us still fully or partially in the closet, too.
Pride is for the moments we feel scared. The spaces that aren’t safe. The uncertainty we hold in meeting new people. Pride is for the choice to come out again and again and again in each new relationship or space. Pride is for the times people tell us we don’t “look like” a member of the queer community. Pride is for the moments when someone says we don’t belong in their spaces, shops, or businesses. Pride is for the times we experience discrimination, harassment, and violence. Pride is for connection and community.
Pride holds so much.
Pride isn’t a guarantee that everything is roses and (literal) rainbows. It’s a commitment to ourselves, our communities, and our world that we will stay here, seek connection, and be courageously ourselves even when we are pushed out, disregarded, or harmed.
We are here. And I’m so grateful we are.
I’d love to know more about what Pride means to you! Visit us on Facebook or Instagram to let us know how you experience or celebrate Pride in your own life — during June, but during all the other months, too!