June – Gay Pride Month — has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean that we have to stop celebrating ourselves… whether we’re gay, straight, or somewhere inbetween.
First, some background info from Wikipedia:
Gay pride is the concept that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
The movement has three main premises:
- That people should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity
- That diversity is a gift
- That sexual orientation and gender identity are inherent and cannot be intentionally altered
We typically think of the Pride ”movement” as exclusive to LGBT people, but what if instead we ALL (gay, straight, somewhere inbetween) embrace those three premises?
Wikipedia goes on to say (emphasis added by me):
The word pride is used in this case as an antonym for shame, which has been used to control and oppress LGBT persons throughout history. Pride in this sense is an affirmation of ones self and the community as a whole.
What if we each took some part of ourselves that we’re ashamed of and worked at ways to be proud of that part?
For me, after being out for 20 years, I’m no longer ashamed of my sexual orientation (three cheers to that!), but I sure am still ashamed of the emotional “weaknesses” that come along with a brain wired for depression:
- The daily anti-depressant.
- The constant need to protect my mental and emotional energy stores.
- The effect all of this has at times on those close to me.
Proud of that?!? Hmmm. I guess it would go something like this:
- I’m proud of not having missed a day of taking my happy pills in over 14 (???) years!
- I’m proud of being loyal first and foremost to my own mental health!
- I’m proud of the access I have to a depth of emotion that some people never experience!
- I’m proud!
Ok, so I showed you mine… who’s next?? I’m proud of you already…