Pride (and some prejudice)

I had something completely different planned for this week’s post, but I’m not sure I have the energy. So…forthcoming, there will be a potential blog series on deconstructing specific bible passages that have harmed people because of how they’ve been interpreted. Meanwhile, this’ll be more of a stream of consciousness post (which I kind of do anyway) on it being Pride month and how I’m feeling about it.

Last year was the first year I ever did anything for Pride. By do something, I mean, two of my closest friends and I made rainbow t-shirts and watched Parks and Rec. It was the day before the Pulse shooting. Doing tie-dye shirts was all I was brave enough to do because of being pretty closeted outside of Twitter and this blog. And then…the next day, 49 people were brutally murdered and 53 others wounded at a gay nightclub in Orlando. A place that was supposed to be a safe haven quickly turned into a place of death.

I grew up being told not to be prideful…that pride of any sort was a sin. Maybe even the first sin committed by an angel we commonly refer to as Satan or the Devil. Don’t be proud. Pride leads to a fall. Don’t prioritize your self or your needs. Sacrifice all that you are so others can be served. You should hate sin. Love the sinner. But what happened to me like many who grew up in the church is that we just learned to hate ourselves.

There was no room to see myself as anything but a sinner. The self-deprecation started early. I was a depressed 12 year old who started experiencing anxiety most of the time and chronic pain all of the time.

And when I finally got to a point where I could love myself as I was including the gay part of me…LGBTQ+ people get massacred in the worst mass shooting in American history. Yet, I found a community of people grieving with me and found that I wasn’t the only one who felt that way about myself.

Almost a year later, we queer folks are still. here. Maybe our current administration will never fight for us. But we will fight for each other and for love and kindness in the face of hatred.

I don’t know how to feel about Pride this year. I do know I’m not alone. I do know that even though I’m in the midst of a depressive episode right now and my chronic pain is pretty awful, I’m not alone. We can be proud to have made it this far. To have not given up. They tell me our love isn’t right. That it’s perverted and bad. All I know is, I’ve experienced more love from my queer brothers and sisters than most folks in churches who claim God loves me but fail to see my humanity and love as valid. I see God in you. God who loves us and includes us and gives us a seat at the table when no one else will.

I may not know how to be proud of myself yet for all of who I am, but I am proud of you. You’re still here. And you’re still fighting. And you are not alone.

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