Faces of Pride 2019: To Me, Pride…

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Shawn Reilly, Charles Key, Addison Reiter, Georgia Leming, Ebony Cotton, Sara Quinn, Chloe Miller and Grey Marron. Photo courtesy of GLSEN. Pride.
Shawn Reilly, Charles Key, Addison Reiter, Georgia Leming, Ebony Cotton, Sara Quinn, Chloe Miller and Grey Marron. Photo courtesy of GLSEN.

This year, we asked a few community members to share their thoughts on what pride meant to them, including a group of socially active teens from GLSEN. When asked to complete the phrase, “To me, Pride…”, heres what they had to say:

 

… is an opportunity to increase awareness and visibility for members of the LGBTQ+ community. The event allows all members of the community, as well as allies, a chance to be their authentic selves. It is a celebration and a political movement. -Delia M, 18

 

… is being able to be yourself. Whether that’s to break a stereotype, or to be unique in your own way. For me, pride is the ability to be comfortable with myself and around others. -Aleksandr M, 17

 

… is the freedom for people to express who they truly are. It’s the joy and complete self-acceptance I see all my LGBTQ friends want and have, and I want to protect that -Ebony C, 17

 

… is a time for me to be unapologetically who I am, as well as a time to honor and celebrate the LGBTQ+ activists of the past who got us to where we are today. It’s one of the happiest places I’ve gone to because everyone is so kind and warm hearted and accepting, and I don’t feel like I have to hide my true self. -Dilan C, 17

 

… is a time of reflection to think about all of the incredible LGBT people who have come before us, and about how to prepare the world for the next generations of queer youth. -S.E., 17

 

… means the freedom to openly express one’s values and identity without a fear of discrimination. In addition to having a strong reliable support system that loves you for who you truly are. -Joey L, 18

 

 

… is finding strength in an identity that has been fought for and through its very existence is a rebellion. Pride is finding joy in knowing that no person or institution can change who you are, no matter how hard they try. Having pride in my queer identity gives me the ability to stand up in front of both those who are against me and those who support me, saying ‘This is who I am, and I am proud of it.’” -Aiden C, 16

 

… is a promise. A promise to continue fighting for the ones who gave their life (willingly and unwillingly) to our fight for justice. It’s also a promise to be unapologetically me and respect others for doing so as well. A promise to value love before everything else because it is the reason we fight and why we have pride. -Chloe M, 17

 

… is just being, existing, without a constant wave of hate. It’s about being able to stand confidently in who I am. Pride is about community. -Addison R, 16

 

… is being myself with no fear of hatred. Pride is knowing that it doesn’t matter what people think of me -Grey M, 17

 

… is a celebration of the legacy of resistance that our queer and trans ancestors have left us. A celebration of the transwomen of color who stood up against police resistance during Compton’s Cafeteria Riots and the Stonewall Uprising. And a time to continue in that path of resistance. -M.W., 14

 

… means celebrating not only your differences but everyone else’s! It’s amazing how we come together as a community to honor who we are and what our history is. -Georgia L, 17

 

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