This was my first year attending my local Pride, or really any pride. I have walked past a Pride parade, followed previous Pride months online, and wished that I could attend Pride events. This year was the first that I really even felt comfortable attending any kind of queer event, let alone Pride. Wow! I was very nervous.
The events were awesome! I particularly enjoyed the parade because I got to see the diversity of the community. Sometimes it can be so easy to feel like I’m the only person who has felt the immense shame that comes from not being and not being able to become what people expect from you. Sometimes I can trick myself into thinking that I am the only one who has days when I feel hopeless and trapped. The parade really showed me that this is not the case. It was fun to see so many different flags and so many different people living and celebrating their lives.
It was also really important for me that I got to attend the rally that was held at the capitol building. I’ve been reading a lot about queer history this year and have developed a real appreciation and awe of the people who have come before me. There is still a lot of work to be done for the queer community and being at the pride rally helped me feel like I am a part of it.
Pride is a protest. It is also a celebration. While at Pride I felt so many positive feelings. As the parade was winding down, I decided that in order to keep feeling valued, loved, and understood the entire year, I will protest and I will celebrate. When I can, I will stand up for my community. It can be hard to stand up to people who do not value me or my identity, but I know that standing up to people rather than backing down will help me celebrate my identity. I didn’t choose this but I love it 🏳️🌈