Being a part of the LGBTQ+ community is something I am proud of and nothing made me happier than being around those who felt the exact same way. The entire month of June is a time where we can celebrate that pride that we have around those who can accept and love us for who we are. Going to New York Pride was one of the best experiences of my life. Being around others who were so comfortable just being themselves was eye opening and it truly made me realize what and who makes me happy.
This was my first experience going to any sort of pride event since coming out and it was amazing. I have never felt more comfortable being myself than around every single one of the people at pride. There were rainbow flags everywhere, all sorts of insane outfits and I lived for it. You can absolutely tell that everyone there was having an amazing time because they were proud of who they were and they were not afraid to show it. There were even some children around which was amazing. Knowing that the younger generation is being exposed to all of the rainbows and the pride is truly a step up for the LGBTQ+ community because it allows them to understand that being gay is in fact okay. That is something others did not have the chance to grow up with.
Last year’s pride which I was unable to attend had to have been hard on many people as it occurred two weeks after the Pulse nightclub shooting. All of the hate and violence the LGBTQ+ community has endured is unfair and these pride events are there so the community can show their pride and march for those who have been affected by the hate. We must remember those 49 killed and 53 injured in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016. They were attacked in a place that they thought they were safe to be themselves which is something that should never happen to anyone. You do not have to be apart of the LGBTQ+ community to stand with us. Celebrate pride with us and be united against the hate and discrimination the community faces on a daily basis.
It’s amazing to know that I am apart of such a loving and accepting community and I couldn't have been happier surrounded by everyone else at pride. I was able to wear my “Love Wins” shirt without getting hate for it anywhere else. I was able to wear rainbows and show off my pride around those who were doing the exact same. I was even with some of my best friends who were just as happy to be a part of the community as I was.
June is a special month to be able to celebrate pride with those who share the same values but that does not mean we can’t celebrate pride during every other month. If you are truly proud of who you are, show it. No matter what month you’re in, where you are, who you’re with, be proud of who you are. Nothing should stop you from loving yourself and being who you truly are. One important thing to remember no matter what is that love is love. Nobody should be able to stop someone from loving anyone no matter the gender. The one thing that truly wins here is love.