BY MIA ARCINEGAS / STAFF WRITER
Pride comes in many forms, can be expressed in countless ways, but what exactly is pride? What does it mean to be proud? Usually, the term is applied when one is proud of something they’ve done, or proud of an accomplishment. But pride in terms of queer identity is different; it is more than being proud of this part of yourself, it is about embracing a side of you that can sometimes be met with antipathy.
The purpose of pride week, pride events, and pride representation isn’t to sway people who aren’t already queer or allies to accept the queer community; rather, it is meant as an act of celebration. We are fortunate enough to live in a country where queer people can safely express themselves for the most part. That being said, let’s not forget we are in a rural-ish community in (what I think) one of the most socially conservative provinces in Canada, which is why it is even more important to show our pride. Queer people exist everywhere, not just in big cities, and it is essential to keep having outlets such as pride week where like-minded folks can gather and have a gay time.
Pride is more than just being bright, merry and open, it is also about bringing forth issues we tend to shy away from. Let’s talk about queer health, homophobia, transphobia, misconceptions, and violence, as these things are topics that aren’t always addressed. In my opinion, pride events are meant to bring queer and allied people together, but hopefully, having them can also have a ripple effect, and attract people who may want to learn about the queer community and either support it in ways big or small, or even feel at home in it. The Antithesis to ignorance and discrimination is knowledge.
Pride is something conscious, yet unconscious, ubiquitous, and with us every day, not just during the span of an event or a week. Pride is not just an active rally for change, or effort, pride is simply living your life, pursuing your dreams, loving openly, dressing how you want to dress, doing what you want to do, saying what is on your mind and not having to think twice about it. Pride is aspiring to be your best self and reach your goals. Pride is about living comfortably in the skin you’re in and then some.
Having pondered the question “What is the meaning of pride?” and having discussions regarding it, I have come to the conclusion that there is no definitive response for it. It means something different for everyone, and from what I’ve gathered, pride for a lot of people means just being able to be your authentic, unapologetic self without being chastised, or discriminated against. I will end this with a not so famous quote which some may have forgotten or never heard of, but is still relevant to this day.
“Ain’t nothin’ wrong with bein’ a little gay”.
– Honey Boo Boo child, (2012).