Pride is something I’ve been raised to have a careful balance with. Before, I never really knew why that mattered, but in more recent years, I have most certainly used it to my advantage.
Pride meant little to me growing up. I knew it to bear something on confidence (in a good way) but also associated it with the seven deadly sins… which were something not so great.
I was never confident. Although bubbly, I have been an introvert from the day I was born and carried that through being ‘shy’ in a shop, to being crippled by General Anxiety Disorder coming through teen years, to still, now struggling with speaking (or appearing as an ambivert; I either don’t talk, or don’t shut up). This meant Pride was something distant to me.
Today is the last day of pride month.
Recently, even much more recently than you’d have thought, pride has become a big part of my life. This pride relates to everything from the way I feel in my body to LGBT+ pride.
Pride to me
Pride in my sexuality has liberated me.
Love is love is love is love is love.
Pride has taught me that, regardless of who you are and what makes you who you are, you are more than valid.
Pride has made me realise that I am beautiful, both inside and out, and I deserve love.
Pride has given me a chance to feel as though I’ve reclaimed my body from the hell it has, and still does go through; abuse- from myself and others; chronic illnesses; recovery from an eating disorder and other mental health issues.
Pride has made me realise that people are horrible, but love is still beautiful against that negative force and powers through against the odds. Love will always be beautiful, in every form.
Pride has made me realise the importance of supporting people both alike and different to you, the importance of recognising intersectionality and embracing that. Intersectionality in communities is so important, and recognising people for who they are has a big impact and helps. I, personally, am part of the queer disabled community online, and being part of this intersection, and supporting other intersections, has made a hugely positive impact on my life and truly helped me form my identity.
People say that you are not defined by sexuality or disability, and though it is not my entire being, embracing both of these things has helped me find an identity (as an online presence and a human in the flesh) I am comfortable with, embrace, and am truly proud of.
To me, Pride is what has given me confidence in myself. This confidence has led me to feel attractive and positively towards myself, to find communities that I can relate to and be a part of, and make so many friends in those communities.
(An example of making pals in said communities is with this wonderful gal I’ve confided in for months and finally met in person yesterday:)
Pride, as a mood, as a movement, as anything you so associate it with, holds a great significance in our own life and the workings of society today.
I ask you this favour: Be proud.
Whatever that refers to, it is so important.
No, it will not happen overnight. Such a level of intense emotion takes time to build, and there’ll be ups and downs along the way, but pride is liberating and you deserve to be proud of who you are.
Happy Pride month, for the last time this year; But that doesn’t mean pride will disappear.