What does pride mean to you?
Pride to me means being able to be your authentic self, being proud of who you are, and standing up for yourself every time someone questions your pride. Regardless of what you believe or think, nobody should be able to make you feel ashamed of who you are or what you stand for. To me Pride is saying to the world, “this is who I am and I’m proud of it.
Why is it important to celebrate pride?
Having a whole month dedicated to Pride with ongoing events and celebrations is incredible, especially considering how not so recent history would never have thought the LGBTQ community would be able to live openly, freely and happily. Pride matters because countless people have lost their jobs, families and lives to be able to live in peace with themselves. Pride also allows a space and time where others are more aware of their own behaviors and how supportive they are or are not of our community. If I had any example or exposure to the real LGBTQ community via Pride celebrations when I was younger, no doubt I would’ve been more confident to confront people who spoke negatively to me about the LGBTQ community.
How can others support the LGBTQ community?
- Treat others as you would like to be treated—with dignity and respect.
- Be open-minded. Being different doesn’t mean wrong. We all have our own unique ways, but it’s what makes us interesting!
- Be a good listener. Try not to assume that your friends are straight. They may be struggling with their identity and just need a friend they can trust.
- Speak out against homophobia, transphobia and anti-LGBTQ harassment and discrimination.
- Be supportive of anyone who chooses to come out.
- Attend LGBTQ events.