Gay pride is the most wonderful month! It’s full of important remembrance, celebration and love! For me, pride is just another excuse for me to celebrate my dad! My dad came out to me when I was in 6th grade; At the time I was all, “cool dad what’s for dinner” I didn’t think a single thing of it because I didn’t think any differently of him, he was still my dad. As I began to get older and become more aware of what my dad being gay meant I started to become protective. Kids my age began to ask questions and I began to worry about what they would say and do. I thought that keeping who he was a secret would protect him but it made him feel like I was ashamed of him.
Well into my twenties I finally learned to stop protecting him and to begin praising him. It’s more important to me now that he knows that I am extremely proud of the man that he is. I stopped worrying about what people might think or say and opened my heart and mind fully so that I could be supportive to my dad. Growing up my dad taught me to be open-minded, kind and understanding. This has also allowed me to become an ally for my LGBTQ+ friends and family. Getting out and celebrating the ones that I love fills my heart up so full I can’t even tell you!
I also love to use pride month as an excuse to learn something new. Not sure what non-binary means? Google it! Do some research and explore. Interested in learning what the (+) means in LGBTQ+ great! Look into it and ask questions. I also welcome you to go out and enjoy pride! There are so many opportunities to explore and learn while taking part in a wonderful movement for love equality. As an ally and this being my fourth year attending I have learned so much and have met so many incredible people along the way. Not sure how to approach a friend or family member who is apart of the LGBTQ+ community? That’s okay! Ask questions and lead with an open heart and mind and I promise it will all turn out. In my experience people are thankful that you’re just interested in learning and are willing to be a supportive friend/family member.
So although it might feel like protecting the ones we love is right it can turn out to hurt them in the long run. I encourage you to be curious, ask questions and embrace those who do not fit the typical societal mold. At the end of the day, we all deserve to love and be loved.