It has taken some time for me to have real pride in myself…and I am a white, heterosexual female who fits some basic societal generalizations. I have had support from society to feel accepted and a sense of belonging.
As we enter June and the global celebrations of LGBTQ+ Pride Month get started, I can’t help but appreciate the power behind this word, and how it represents so much inner strength and a strong community that is STILL facing inequality.
In the US, June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Pride Month’s goal is to “recognize the impact that LGBTQ+ people have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.” - ABC News
My heart breaks when I think about humans not having equal rights. My heart breaks that humans fear other humans, just for being different. Fear is at the crux of bigotry. But the fear has been instilled in us. What is there really to be afraid of? Nothing.
I love celebrating Pride and have joined many celebrations over the years. What I admire most about Pride is that I always feel accepted. I am always welcomed with open arms and hearts. Nobody is afraid of me for being different. We are all just people. And I love the freedom of self-expression, without judgment.
Truth be told, we all have a lot to learn from Pride celebrations. Here’s what I have learned over the years…
- Human Acceptance
- Healthy Self-Expression
- Love Is Love
- Human Connection
- Belonging, WE ALL BELONG HERE
There is a long history of isolation and harm to this community. And there is a lot of work we still need to do in order to move forward and heal. First, we need to stop harming people for being who they are. We need to make it safe to be ourselves, and this starts at a very young age.
We can start with compassion and a connection that we share to have our innate human needs met. The need to belong. The need to be respected. And the need to love and to be loved. When we teach children to start noticing and thinking about these basic human needs that we all share, they nurture compassion from within.
I am thankful to the Pride community for teaching me. For always accepting me. And for dedicating a full month to pay reverence to those who paved the way, to celebrate community and belonging, to support self-expression, and most importantly to lead with love.
This week, notice if you feel judgment towards someone for being different from you. Does your judgment come from fear? Remind yourself of the HUMAN NEED to feel like we belong.