I am queer. I am proud.
I am a white man. I own a business. I took my daughter to swim class this morning. I am a candidate for local office. And I am still queer.
Pride is in knowing who you are and being willing to be seen as such. Not unafraid – because fear is real and frequently both justified and wise – but willing to proclaim your self and your right to exist.
Our Pride tells everyone else around us that it’s okay to be whoever they are, however they are.
Pride, as a day, is the celebration of a riot at Stonewall led by POC and trans people who refused to be bullied or silenced. Ever since, the queer community has celebrated that riot by taking to the streets.
No matter how many corporate banks or establishment politicians join marches or sponsor events, the essence of the day is in the Pride of the queers who throng to celebrate their existence and the riot of colors, shapes, and sizes that honor that act of Resistance at Stonewall.
I’ve had a long history of LGBTQ rights advocacy. It’s part of who I am, but it’s also an indelible part of my belief that we should all be free to pursue love, employment, and the rest of our daily lives without discrimination or harassment.
I don’t say it out loud every day, but on Pride I do: I am queer. And regardless of what flavor of queer we are, your journey is important, my journey is important, our existence is important.