The Why of Pride
We were all walking with each other after the drag show. A college age group; getting that taste of freedom on a rural Wisconsin campus.
His phone rang.
"Nah, I'm just hanging out with some people."
"We we're watching a movie."
A bit of silence.
"I'll call you back"
"Sorry about that..."
Another girl spoke up.
"That's OK. I lie too."
We all lie.
We all have lists running through our head of who's safe.
Who might be OK.
Until you find out otherwise.
That always stings.
It's not necessarily a closet so much as it is a safety measure.
And even the ones who are totally out get exhausted from explaining.
Coming out over and over again to everyone they meet.
Watching faces to gauge reactions.
Answering the same questions time and time again.
Pride isn't about being flamboyant.
Pride isn't rainbows, glitter, leather and dildos.
Pride is the opposite of shame.
Pride is accepting that there isn't anything to be personally ashamed of.
Pride is a statement for the people who think that there is.
It doesn't matter if you're taking pride in your sexuality, or your gender identity, or how you like to dress, or what your friends go through: pride is a place to find people like you.
People who are sick of the shame.
People who are exhausted from explaining.
People who are tired of their lists.
People who've lied too.