What Pride has meant and now means.
Pride is many things to many people.
For the majority of the LGBT community, Pride is about being comfortable as oneself without fear of reproach and condemnation. It is about channelling a deep sense of raw identity that wishes to be as vibrant as the Pride flag itself.
At times it may be difficult to explain Pride’s necessity to non-LGBT people, but it is highly likely those same people have never considered their afforded luxury of never having to think twice before holding their partner’s hand or worry if they’re acting “too straight” in public for fear of confrontation. They have never witnessed a case of government inaction for something considered only a “straight disease.” They have never experienced a sect of society vehemently fighting against their right to marry, to adopt, to serve, to live — solely because outdated ideologies give them the right to say so.
Pride is about celebrating the tapestry that is queer identity and the historic struggles the community has endured in order to simply exist. Even when atrocious horrors shadow the community, it is about subsequently marching louder, stronger; to be the light to shine the path forward. Every footstep echoes the names bound to the community’s right to march, names of trans women and queer persons of color whose greatest contribution was being unapologetically themselves. Nowadays we all bear the same standard as we carry the same fight, and yet still we must adhere to those same rules and remain unapologetically ourselves.
Pride is not just an excuse to celebrate, for it is as much a requiem for the sobering reality of many LGBT persons worldwide as it is an intoxicating display of self-love. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Pride for some is a moment to breathe easy and indulge in the fullest display of identity, even if just for a moment, before returning to the ashes of cautious limitations and conformity.
As a final reminder lest we forget, Pride is about placing love above hate, acceptance above dejection, strength above fear, and a brighter future over a clouded past.
Be merry, be loved, be safe, and Happy Pride!