Pride, to me, was once a word fraught with dichotomy.
It was at once a statement of sincere admiration for things like achievement, status, and quality—it was also a representation of a character trait that was odious and wrong.
It has so much clarity of meaning to me.
It’s community. It’s love. It’s friendship. It’s fun.
I have made an effort to learn a lot about contemporaries and people who have gone before me that have made my life as a gay man easier. The heroes are many, as have been their challenges. I feel so fortunate to be a part of a community that has worked hard to increase the quality of life for others.
I have also listened to the struggles of members of this community. I see how much work is still yet to be done. I’ve felt helpless in the face of the struggles that LGBTQ+ people face. I want to do my part, but have only talked a big talk and still as of yet, accomplished nothing. I want to change that.
I have also had a good deal of fun. Many people in my life likely do not know that I have attended gay pride festivals and parades and how much time I have spent at gay clubs.
Early this morning, an awful, senseless act of violence took the lives of 50 people in a gay club in Orlando. Some 53 or so more people were injured.
Pride, to me, is now also about a collective heartbreak. I feel so saddened that so many people in my community have been murdered, injured, and emotionally demolished.
I am so proud to be a member of this community, I hope for healing for all who have been hurt, and although what has happened has been awful I know that the goodness, love, charity, and kindness that will arise amidst this awful scene will outshine the terrible deeds from which they are borne.
I have pride, and I’ve learned how truly wonderful a thing it is.