Expressing Pride and Feeling Free!
Pride Month may officially be over, but the commemoration and celebration doesn’t have to end on June 30. While it’s meaningful for the LGBTQIA+ community to have an entire monthlong celebration of Pride, I feel it’s essential that we all take the essence and feeling of Pride into our everyday experience and live it. And perhaps some of those companies who only display the rainbow flag during June will be more visible in their support of the queer community throughout the year.
What is PRIDE?
Pride is accepting and loving yourself completely as you are.
Pride is shining your light, standing tall, authentic, and courageous. It’s knowing who you are and standing in that Truth. Pride is leading by demonstration.
Pride is celebrating your individualized expression and the collective expression of all members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Pride is supporting and lifting up those who are questioning or who feel insecure about their sexuality or gender identity.
Pride is making space for everyone in the circle.
Pride is living and loving out loud, unapologetically in full color.
It’s fitting that Pride month is immediately followed by American Independence Day, July 4. To me, the two celebrations feel connected. Pride celebrations can offer the queer community the opportunity to express authentically. In some places, outside of urban or progressive areas, a Pride celebration may be the only time it feels safe to express as a queer person.
Personal authenticity—standing in, being, and expressing as our true selves—reveals, allows, and fosters the feeling of freedom. In Truth, Freedom is our natural state of being, but often our individual feeling of freedom seems to be covered over by illusion taking the form of fear, guilt, or shame. Self-love and the willingness to express authentically bring us back to our freedom, again and again.
After I came out publicly, I remember receiving a text message from a beloved friend who is a straight ally: “Congratulations on your freedom!” I was so grateful to feel seen and understood in that moment. My friend got what it meant to me to have the burden of the closet lifted, to freely express all facets of me with pride.