Guest Blog, pride month

Happy Pride Month 2021!

What Does Pride Mean to Us?

The year, the GCLS Writing Academy instructors, mentors, guest speakers, and graduates to give us a brief statement on what pride means to them. We’re loving the answers and we wanted to add one of our own.

To the Writing Academy, pride means giving LGBTQI+ people the tools to share their voices with the world through writing novels, short stories, poetry, and even blog posts.

Liz the Dreamer

Pride month means a time to remember that I am happy and whole as a person. It’s an opportunity to embrace the unique biome that is me, and to enjoy time with others who make it feel like I am seen and heard. No shame, just love. 


Pride to me is a sense of worth individually and as a community – that as queer people of all gender and sexual identities, races, abilities, ethnicities, and expressions – we matter. When we celebrate Pride we are saying we have the right to be visible, valued, included, and recognized in every facet of society and to have those rights protected.

Michele Reynolds

Pride is being happy and secure with who I am, sharing all of who I am in all aspects of my life and supporting others who are struggling with their identity. I’m out and proud in my Episcopal Church and determined to advertise, to others who identify as LGBTQIA, that I have a safe and welcoming place to worship.

Salem West

Pride is powerful. Pride is about inclusion and celebrating diversity, difference, and honesty. Pride makes me stronger. Pride gives me truth. Pride is healthcare and self-care. Pride is having a home, and pride is having ambition; it’s a way to make contact with our best selves, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s most authentic self. Pride flies on the wings of angels. Pride delivers us from evil. Pride is powerful.

Feri Tyler

For me Pride represents our ability to be open and honest about who we are out in the world regardless of who sees. It’s a right of passage for the “baby” gays, a badge of honor recognizing the sacrifices of our fore-family and a way of bringing all of us together in celebration- regardless of label. I was taken to my first Pride by folks that I love. I took my wife to her first Pride. I giggled hard when “fam” spotted my kids dancing through the streets discovering their first Pride. For me Pride equals family, Happy Pride!!!

Georgia Beers

For me, pride means not hesitating, being completely honest when somebody asks me what I write. I used to (and sometimes still will) lead with, “I write romance,” until I get the lay of the land, so to speak. But pride is coming right out with, “I write romance between women.” And owning it.

Gar McVey-Russel

What does pride mean to me?

To me, it has always meant the freedom to feel comfortable in my own skin. For so long, I lived in denial about my sexuality. Had it continued indefinitely, who knows what sort of neuroses I would have developed. Even though I’ve been out for 33 years now, I can still feel a glimmer of the euphoria I felt when at that time. ACT UP, writing for UCLA’s queer news journal, marching in the parade. An old friend from grade school saw me marching once; she was filming the parade and I was in the ACT UP contingent. When we saw each other, we both jumped up and down in total exuberance. Sadly, I’ve not seen her since, but that moment will always live with me.

Closets are for clothes.

Karelia Stetz-Waters

When I celebrate Pride, I celebrate all the challenges I’ve overcome and the queer community has overcome. I celebrate our beautiful, triumphant lives.

What does pride mean to you? Share with us in the comments or drop us a line on Twitter.

1 thought on “Happy Pride Month 2021!”

  1. Pride has a special meaning for me. I was a little slow on the uptake in coming out. Didn’t make it until I was almost 30. It was finding the last piece of a puzzle. Everything clicked into place. So Pride month is important to me personally. I am out and proud (most of the time). Not long after I came out I found this quote by Peter Tatchell:
    “Equality is a good start, but it is not sufficient. Equality for queers inevitably means equal rights on straight terms, since they are the one who dominate and determine the existing legal framework. We conform – albeit equally – with their screwed up system. That is not liberation. It is capitulation.”

    Equality is important but I will not capitulate. Systems is reluctant to change. Most are, by design, slow and deliberative. People fear change because they have to reevaluate themselves and the systems they believe in. They are pushed into uncomfortable places. Those icky, yucky places. Where you have more questions than answers. Into philosophy, metaphysics, theology – the meaning of existence. Where everything becomes gray, not either/or. It becomes both/and. That’s the place I am working toward. Through all my failures and successes, I still believe humankind can make the changes where we can all be valued, honored, and, most of all, celebrated for our uniqueness.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s