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  • Writer's pictureLeoOtherland

The Purpose of Pride

Somewhere in the last few days of the recently passed month of May, I was asked by the head of my workplace’s LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group if I could write up a short quote on what Pride meant to me to be posted on my workplace’s intranet. I said yes, and then found myself considering what exactly Pride meant to me.


Pride is a tangle of emotions and meanings that vary between people and can change as we age and grow into ourselves. I’ve written whole posts about what Pride has meant to me in the past. But with my coworker’s simple request, I had to think about what it means to me now.


If you go and Google the purpose of Pride month, Google, that mostly all-knowing repository of human knowledge, will tell you the purpose is a commemorative time to recognize the impact that LGBTQIA+ individuals have had on history, but that definition falls short and feels hollow and impersonal.


What I think of when I consider why we have Pride is a member of my family once commenting, “I don’t like it when they throw it in our faces,” when talking about LGBTQIA+ showing pride and color. The loudness of it struck my family member as offensive, I think, and this notion, and it’s implications towards me, a LGBTQIA+ individual, has stuck with me.


Pride is when we of the community are loud. It is when we are, quite literally, proud. But why? Why are we loud? Why are we flaunting our pride for all to see?


The simplest answer is because homophobia, transphobia, or any phobia, will thrive in silence. They grow strong and fertile in the soil of the unknown and the unseen. If we, the LGBTQIA+ people, stay in our closets and conveniently stay quiet and out of sight, we leave room for fear, hate, and misinformation to grow.


Pride, with its loud, flamboyant colors, is a reminder that we are here. We are your family, your friends, your coworkers, your neighbors, and we want to live, authentically and with agency. We do not want to hide, we do not want to be feared or othered. We just want to live.


For me, in this year of my life, Pride simply means not being silent and leaving space for prejudice to grow.

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