With marriage equality now supported by the highest court in our land, I’ve been asked: will I finally stop talking? Will I stop shoving my agenda down the throats of conservative evangelicals who don’t appreciate my point of view?
My answer is no. I don’t believe I’ll ever stop talking, nor will I ever stop asking questions about a religion that tells me homosexuality is a sin. I’ll never stop talking as long as there are LGBTQ brothers and sisters who suffer –– mostly in silence –– as friends and families walk away, leaving them alone to question the benefits of “coming out.”
I remember thinking I’d spend my life “living the lie” –– living a life that wasn’t mine. I remember believing I needed my family’s acceptance more than I needed to live my own life.
I lived that way until I was 50. I knew who I was. I just didn’t have courage. And I didn’t live in a place that encouraged individuality. I spent too many years trying to make everybody happy. In the process, I pushed the real me to the back of my closet.
And that’s where I stayed –– until I saw that 300ft rainbow flag at the end of my very first Pride Parade in 2002.
There’s nothing more welcoming than a Pride Parade. There’s nothing safer, more accepting, or more loving than being surrounded by your people –– people who have been where you are; who will gently guide you to step out of that closet.
There’s nothing that will make you prouder of who you are than placing your hand on that rainbow flag and letting the tears come.
It’s not about your mother, father, brother, sister, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, children, or grandchildren. It’s not about your church, your friends, or even your government. It’s about you — who you are, and the life you were meant to live.
At this time in our country’s history, Pride matters more than ever.
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