What Does Pride Mean to You?
We loved the last pride blog post so much, we decided we had to do another one. Pride has meant so much to so many people and the responses we got to our question ranged from sweet and funny to deep and intensely personal.
We asked more Writing Academy Instructors, graduates, students, mentors, and guest speakers what Pride means to them and, as always, we laughed and cried over the answers.
Pride means showing up as my whole self. Everywhere. Every time. And holding space for others to do the exact same.
Pride is a feeling, a place, and a thing to me. The feeling of Pride is a celebration of who and what we are. Human beings who belong. The place of Pride, the festivals, makes me feel incredibly free and proud of all of us, in every shape and form. It’s a place I can be 100% me. The “thing” of pride is how we take our truth and hold it up with love and light. Acceptance, understanding, empathy are just some of the “things” of pride. Pride allows all of us to be individuals as well as part of an incredible whole.
Pride means that you have done the work to discover yourself; you know your likes, dislikes, and beliefs. It means once you have done the work, your self-expression aligns with how you live your life. Pride is being your authentic self, no matter how it presents.
Pride means celebrating those who have come before us, those who are here now, and those who will be here when I am long gone. Pride means celebrating yourself for who you are, not who others want you to be. Pride means celebrating community.
Pride is the celebration of finding a space where I fit. Growing up, I didn’t know a single queer person. I just felt different. Ask any small-town LGBTQ+ member and “I knew I was different” is a common theme. Pride is knowing I’m not alone, I’m not the only one. I can celebrate the fact I see folks who present like me and feel like me. Pride is also saying, “Hi! I see YOU!” to all the young queer kids and letting them know they aren’t alone either.
Jenn T. Grace
For me, Pride is that time of year where we can securely step into who we are and how we show up in the world. I love Pride Month because it gives an opportunity for all of our allies to show up and show their commitment to the larger LGBTQIA+ equality movement.
Pride month is about so much more than parades and parties (though they do rock). For me, pride is about taking a moment to remember my life in the 1970’s and the beautiful people who held my hand and made sure I made it through and forward from that time.
My Pride is hope.
My Pride is happy tears mixed with sad tears mixed with rage tears.
My Pride is a community. My Pride is people.
My Pride is hearing ‘happy Pride’ on repeat on those joyous days in June. The whispered/shouted/smiling words like a communion.
My Pride is gratitude. For everyone who has fought. For everyone who fights.
My Pride is an evolution.
The concept of designating one month a year to recognize the LGBTQ+ community has always sent my right eyebrow, a harbinger of skepticism, upward toward the top of my forehead.
I hear the decision makers’ voices.
“Okay, if they’re upset about how they’ve been treated, let’s give ‘em one month to celebrate. That’ll shut ‘em up for a while.”
With that in mind, I feel my right eyebrow relax and I view Pride Month as an opportunity to grow our knowledge about our community’s sacrifices for and contributions to the never-ending struggle for recognition and full civil rights.
Then… I remember my mixed feelings about February and how the importance of learning truths that remained hidden for generations far outweighed the paucity of time the one-month-only acknowledgement of our worth provided. The truths I’ve learned about Black history have strengthened my convictions regarding our resilience, inventiveness, determination, and achievement in spite of the obstacles that yoked us.
© Renée Bess 2021
What does pride mean to you? Share with us in the comments or drop us a line on Twitter.