I spent a lifetime hiding who I am. Then I got to go to Pride.

Brent Spence Bridge
Brent Spence Bridge Photo: Mira Lazine

Up until the point this picture was taken, I’d never been to a Pride festival before.

It’d been on my bucket list for a long time. I’ve wanted to go since I realized I was queer nearly a decade prior, but growing up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, we were lacking any major festivities to celebrate Pride Month. It was often dangerous to be out, and many times, I felt like if I presented myself as visibly trans, I’d face backlash from the people around me.

When I finally moved to Cincinnati, I was ecstatic at the idea of attending my first Pride festival. And, in June of last year, I was lucky enough to be able to attend!

This picture is of the Brent Spent Bridge as seen from a park in downtown Cincy – it’s a huge landmark in the area, as it crosses the Ohio river and connects Cincy to its various sibling cities in Kentucky. I thought it was a really cool sight, and it felt emblematic of what was to come.

Brent Spence Bridge
Mira Lazine Brent Spence Bridge

To me, the picture represents the feeling that I’m finally able to be who I am without worrying as much about the backlash. Ohio’s been turning to the wayside in how the state treats LGBTQ+ people, but the people here have been far more supportive than anywhere else that I’ve lived. There have been ups and downs in the time that I’ve lived here, but it’s all felt worth it.

This picture shows me how I can live as myself and feel comfortable in my identity after a lifetime of hiding who I am. It makes me feel like all of the struggles have been worth it, that I’m finally at Pride and finally made it.

Pride in Pictures is LGBTQ Nation’s annual series celebrating Pride across the country. We asked our readers to send in their pictures and stories of Pride and we got so many rainbows. Keep an eye out for more heartwarming stories to get you ready for Pride Month 2024.

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