Gabriela Enamorado/Staff Writer
The first time I ever saw a Pride parade, I was 10 years old. I was taking a walk to the store with my grandma while visiting family in California when I saw the rainbow floats and colorful people. I was young and didn’t really understand what was going on, but what I did know was that this was special and I was in awe.
Pride parades have been going on since 1970. It’s a tradition meant to bring awareness to LGBTQ+ rights, and it brings us visibility. This year there will be no Pride parade due to the global pandemic, leaving people feeling like Pride month was canceled altogether.
But Pride is more than just parades, parties and large events. Pride is a feeling. Pride is about being true to yourself and not feeling sorry about it.
Celebrating Pride from home was not anyone’s ideal Pride month. Personally, I had plans to go to Miami’s Pride parade and be around other queer people. The parade brings a sense of community and belonging. Being out and proud is an amazing experience. So is seeing all the different types of pride flags and people covered in glitter.
Instead of dwelling on the loss of a parade though, I decided to take this time to reflect what Pride means to me. Pride month has a history dating back 50 years and we’ve progressed a lot. Pride month has given queer people the opportunity to feel accepted.
Pride month is meant to celebrate the resilience and beauty of the LGBTQ+ community. We have struggled to be recognized as valid in the eyes of society for years and continue to fight for our rights. It’s meant to show everyone that we are still here and won’t be ignored.
Pride is needed because our rights continue to be threatened. Just two weeks ago, President Trump rolled back healthcare protections for transgender people across the country. We are always fighting for our survival and basic human rights. Survival and endurance are the core of Pride.
Pride is also about finding a community and not feeling alone. As someone who is partially closeted, Pride month is important to me when I see other people’s stories about being LGBT. It makes me feel like I am not going through this alone. It makes me look towards the future with hope. It’s optimistic seeing people be proud of who they are.
When I think of Pride, I think of all the queer people who are being accepted by their families. I think of being able to hold hands with a girl in public without feeling scared. I think of seeing a same-sex couple getting married and living a happy life. I think of how much work we have done to even get these experiences.
Not all the fun is gone. Some events have been held virtually, like the South Florida Pride Collective’s Virtual Pride, which held a happy hour every day at 5 p.m., all June. Hopefully, events like these scratch the itch of a party, even if it’s not face to face.
Still, Pride is as much a feeling as it is a celebration. Losing out on the pride parade this year will not get rid of our dignity. We should use this as a time of reflection on what pride really means to you and what work still needs to be done.
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