WHAT PRIDE REALLY MEANS

What gay pride really means

After over almost 20 years of going to the NYC pride parade it has taken me until now to realize what we were and are actually celebrating. The use of the word “pride” to explain gay, queer and trans people is ironic– as most of us labelled as gay, queer, trans or other at some point in our lives have felt the exact opposite of pride. Feelings of fear, shame and being an outsider would be better suited. In fact, one in five young adults between the ages of 13-24 commit suicide because of being gay. 

Now maybe you live in a city like New York, are surrounded by and hang out with tons of gay people and are thinking- what’s the big deal? Gay people are everywhere and they’re totally fine. But when you step out of a big city into more rural areas, that all changes. And while I might be able to hold my wife’s hand in public in New York City, we wouldn’t be caught dead doing this in many other places around the U.S. and world. 

Think about that for a second. 

gesture as simple as holding your husband or wife’s hand becomes a “thing”. And for personal safety reasons you just don’t do it.

For our trans and binary friends, their reality and what they are up against and feeling like “other” is on a whole other level. A lot of people can’t wrap their heads around two people of the same sex loving one another- how about someone who’s physical body doesn’t match how their soul feels about who they are. The statistics here are even worse with one in three young adults between the ages of 13-24 committing suicide. 

They say words have power. What you write and speak out loud comes to fruition, so maybe the word pride was chosen as an idealistic path forward for us, to wholly embrace and celebrate ourselves. However, I think a better description of this month of celebrations would be the word brave. NowI know “brave month” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it but it’s an adjective that best describes what it is like to be “Out”.

Why? Because more than ever as human beings we want to connect with others and most importantly be loved and accepted. To come “Out” as gay, queer, trans or non-binary you are putting everything on the line to be your most authentic self and to be in flow with your soul. People spend years in therapy trying to find “who they are” and in this case you have teenagers stepping forward and saying, “This is who I am” risking everything. Imagine having to choose between being yourself and risking the loss of your family, friends and home? I think there is no braver or more noble thing you can do- than to be you J. True modern heroes.

Nature gets nothing wrong. In fact her most prominent characteristic is her uniqueness and diversity (think blueberry, giraffe, peony!!!). In this sense, creating gay, queer, trans and bi-nary beings is just nature being nature in her perfect evolution. Our being seen as “other” by some, all part of the journey to test and challenge humanity’s humanity and love for one another. My hope is that one day we pass this test and there is no more other, just one. 

PS- Special shout out to the incredible TV show, Pose on Fx that got me thinking about this topic after many years of being gay. I had no idea what our trans brothers and sisters went through and go through and it has opened my mind and heart to the trans community even more than before. Thank you for putting the “human” in trans stories so that our country can continue to grow and begin choosing love and humanity over fear and “other”.

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