Monday, June 3, 2013

What Is Gay Pride . . . To Me?

I recently read that gay pride is about visibility and I wholeheartedly agree with that statement. Therefore, we have parades, rallies, film festivals and more to make ourselves heard and seen. This is gay pride on a big scale and I think it is fantastic. It lets 'the others' know we are here and absolutely nothing they do or say can make us disappear. But I feel we can also show our pride on a small scale that can make just as big of an impact as the parades.
For me, my gay pride started when I first came out. It was slow at first and I only told a few people (one by one). Each time I talked with someone about being gay I gained more confidence and self acceptance. Literally my pride in who I was as a gay male began to expand. It started with a couple of friends and family who I felt I could trust. That lead to more confidence and then that gave me the strength and pride to talk with other friends and family. Eventually I felt that I could tell anyone I met that I was gay. Now I take pride in being gay - it is who I AM, not who I choose to be. When someone asks if I am married I say yes (Thomas and I have been together for 23 years and we were married in Massachusetts back in 2004) and make sure to let them know that I am married to a man. I no longer hide or try and make excuses - I speak and live the truth - and that gives me power and pride. Each time I choose to answer questions honestly and directly I embody gay pride. It lets people know I am not ashamed or embarrassed.

All the parades and rallies really help us with equality but I feel that each small step we take makes just as much of a difference. Each person we talk to about our sexuality and each time we choose to be honest spews forth gay pride and I believe that those one on one talks can leave a deeper impact as to who we are as gay members of society. So during this pride month (and hopefully throughout the year) talk to people - friends, family, coworkers, the person in the seat next to you on a plane, anyone you meet that wants to talk. Let them know you are proud of who you are - each and every day. I am sure that each and everyone has their own version of gay pride and I hope that you are expressing it.

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