Sunday, June 10, 2012

What PRIDE Means To Me

June is the month most commemorate as GAY PRIDE month.  All has to do with the happenings at Stonewall in 1969.  But for me gay pride means being happy about who I really am, and sharing that with the world! 

I lived in the closet for almost 40 years of my life.  You can exclude the very early years of my life when, like all children, sex and sexuality is something of which we have no knowledge at all.  I knew I was different from other boys, and I did everything I could think of to subconsciously make myself "normal."  I played sports.  I got very involved in my church.  I got married and had a family.  I got even more involved in the church, even starting a path toward becoming a minister at one point. I tried everything to not be gay, but  despite my efforts, guess what?  I was still gay!  Then finally, when I thought my world was crashing in because of a divorce, it was only after that I finally admitted to myself, and others, that I was living a lie! 

AND THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE!!!  Amen to that!  Once I faced the reality of who I was, my life opened up to such joy and peace!  I admit I did not face the hardships many gay kids face growing up gay.  (I admire those who acknowledge early in life that this who they are).  I am sorry for those I stung along with me on my journey.  But, true happiness came when I stopped living the lie and came out.  Living in a closet is a very lonely place to be!

So many strides are being made today to better the lives of the LGBT community!  Full marriage rights are just around the corner.  This PRIDE I am happy about who I am!  There is no better feeling than the gatherings that I will attend in the next few weeks with others similar to me.  Similar, but different.  The very first thing I realized once I started getting into the gay "culture" is that we too are all different.  I remember the first time I went to a gay bar and saw the variety, from the muscle bound construction type guys to the prissy queens strutting their stuff.  I take PRIDE in the variety.  I still don't understand some things about why people are who they are, but I accept who they are. 

That is my hope for society.  One doesn't have to like the gay lifestyle.  But one should accept people for who they are and let them live their life to the fullest.


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