what IS pride?

           I woke up today confused, not sure of what to do, not even sure of what to make of last night. See, I originally planned to go to the Pride parade with my best friend, to show her support and show myself some more love and pride in my queer identity. Then I asked myself, am I really proud?

            I’ve never really explored my inner guilt and shame, I just hid behind my convenient passing gender identity to mask how I’ve felt about loving women as much as I love men. Growing up in a typical Dominican household with a typical Dominican family meant gayness was a myth never spoken of, it was completely taboo. Unlike the American culture’s hyper-sexualization of lesbian relationships, Dominican culture views women loving women in the same grotesque light as it views men loving men which stems from deeply rooted Catholic beliefs instilled in Dominican people during colonial terror.  Point is, there was no ledge for me to lean on if I ever told my family I was queer. So when I began to have these “odd” feelings in middle school, I had no other outlet but to use boys (so to speak). My fears and frustrations about not understanding these newfound feelings put me in a deep state of denial and I did like a lot of other people do, hid it from myself and the world by diving deep into my straightness in hopes to kill my queerness.

It’s been over 10 years and I’m only now coming to terms with these feelings I have and even then I find it hard to approach women, I psych myself out before trying. I tell myself stupid shit like “well men are easier so why bother with women?” Only to keep myself in a vicious cycle of denial, when the reality is I feel like everything I’ve ever wanted in a twin flame I could find within a woman’s divinity and virtue as she is a reflection of my own… Still, I need to make peace with some of my demons before I can embark on that journey wholeheartedly.

Now, to bring things full circle. To me, (gay) pride is a deep sense of knowing, understanding and value for your sexual identity. I’ve witnessed a lot of the atrocities that have been suffered by my LGBTQ family and I am sickened, but I haven’t been fully present in the way I would’ve liked. So I’m not sure my queer pride is there yet, therefore I (within myself) wouldn’t feel present today at pride because sometimes I still feel shame. Do others as well? I’m sure, and maybe they have come to peace with theirs, but I know I still have some work to do on mine. And I know that by the grace of the universe I will find my pride so that when it’s time to embody it, I feel at one with it and my highest self.



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