It's Pride month, folks! Rainbows are everywhere, people are holding hands, and the LGBTQ+ community has taken its rightful place in the spotlight.
Typically, Pride is a celebration of equality and love by out and proud queer individuals.
But I want to take a moment, amidst all of the festivities, to celebrate those who don't feel that Pride is inclusive, or that they belong, and also those folks who aren't in a safe enough place to celebrate Pride this year.
So, to everyone who is part of the LGBTQ+ community - welcome to Pride.
Wondering if you're included? Well...
Attracted to the same sex? Awesome! Gay and lesbian folks, surprise, pride is for you! You matter.
Pride is for all of the trans people out in the world. You are a part of Pride. You matter.
If you are still closeted, you are part of Pride. This is your month too. You are seen. You are appreciated. You matter.
Single for Pride? Never had a partner? Cool! You are part of the community. You matter too.
Bi and Pansexual people - regardless of your gender, your partner's gender, or if you're more attracted to one gender or gender presentation than another - you are pride people too. You matter.
Ace and Aro pals - guess what? That's right, join the pride party! You matter.
People who are uncomfortable with their sexuality or gender identity - that's okay! You can still join in, if you want to. You matter.
Still deciding on a label? That's okay. You don't have to pick one, and if you pick one and later it doesn't fit, you are allowed to change it. Promise. You matter.
People not accepted by your church - you matter.
People who are queer and religious - y'all are cool as heck. You matter.
LGBTQ+ compadres with disabilities, mental health struggles, and chronic illnesses - You matter!
Whatever pronouns you use or how you present - you're invited to Pride. You matter.
Intersex peeps, non-binary folks - Pride is for you. You matter.
Gender-fluid, gender-queer, gender-non-conforming? You're part of Pride too, and you matter.
People of color - you are part of Pride. There should never have been any question. You are welcome here. You matter.
Pride is about the LGBTQ+ community coming together. Pride is held in the month of June to commemorate the Stonewall riots. Pride is about the community standing up and saying "we will not be silenced." Wherever you fit in the community, you are welcome.
However you identify - you are seen.
Whether you choose to participate in Pride events or not - you are seen.
Whatever your experiences have been - you are seen.
Whether you can safely celebrate of not - you are seen.
You are appreciated. You are valid. You are worthy. You are loved. You matter.
"I know that you cannot live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you...And you...And you...Gotta give 'em hope."
- Harvey Milk
Come as you are, do what you can. We are proud of you.