The Meaning of Pride: As Told By the LGBTQIA+ Community

The Meaning of Pride: As Told By the LGBTQIA+ Community

Megan

Coming out is a big hurdle, an accomplishment, which can lead to happiness, and struggles along the way. I don’t know how I could have survived in the closet without sharing my story. The hard part is surviving along the way.

My name is Megan. I came out to my parents when I was about 13. I started realizing I was different when I was 10, having feelings for my female classmates and friends. I never thought of myself as different, but a natural feeling. I was very open with my parents, and I could talk to them about anything. My mom told me she loved me and to be myself no matter what. Luckily, my dad felt the same way. Coming out to my parents might have been easy, but what came after that was a different story.

No teenager can prepare themselves for high school. Being bullied based on race, religion and sexual orientation is the most frightening. My pride always stood strong. Even though I got bullied, I remembered being confident.

For those who are afraid to come out, I would say that you cannot let people bring you down. Focus on being true to yourself. Loving yourself is the most important thing. All you need is one person to believe in you. The journey is hard, but in the end it is worth it.

Aleyna

From a very young age I had developed childlike crushes on both men and women. Everywhere from Alexa Vega, to Steve from Blue’s Clues, to fellow classmates. It wasn’t anything I thought twice about. They attracted my attention. It was simple.

Not until freshman year of high school did I learn the label for that. My first encounter with the word Bisexual was during lunchtime shenanigans. I was telling a friend how I had thought the girl that sat two rows in front of me was cute. I could see the surprise in their face when they exclaimed, “but you like boys. I know you do.” 

“Of course, I do. I think girls can be cute too.” 

“So, you’re bisexual?”

At that point I didn’t have the slightest clue on how to answer that question. Looking back, it all seems so innocent. A lot has changed since then, after all. 

During that time, I had googled everything that could possibly be googled about bisexuality. If only I had spent even half the effort I spent researching why I feel the same towards women as I do men, maybe I could’ve graduated with a better GPA. But I digress!

After many years I still hadn’t considered myself a part of the LGBTQ+ community, until 2016. Gay marriage was finally legalized. I found myself celebrating this with other members of the LGBTQ+ community when it finally clicked. The ‘B’ represented me! This is my community! It felt like my whole childhood I had been so ignorant about my orientation and my identity that when I finally reached that conclusion; it was like I was discovering myself for the first time.

Aaron

I’m Aaron (he/him) a FTM (female to male) transgender person born and raised in Buffalo, NY. I came out in my freshman year of high school but only began my physical transition a couple of years ago. 

When I came out, I was attending a Catholic all-girls high school here in Buffalo. Though you might not expect a place like that to be super accepting, I was able to find plenty of people here that were accepting of me and loved me all the same, including some of the faculty. This acceptance has carried on through college.

The hard part for me in coming out was to my parents. My mother has come around since I came out to her, but my father is still pretty strict on the, “you’re my daughter” thing. I don’t know if that will ever change or what might happen when I legally get my name and gender marker changed within the next few weeks. However I do know no matter what happens, I’ll have the family I’ve formed over the years, my found family. 

If there’s anything you take away from this, know that it’s the family you find that matters. Though it might be hard to accept that your parents/family never might get it, you’ll always find people that do.

Allison

My name is Allison, a 26 year old Buffalo native and proud member of the trans community. 

My process began in 2011 when I started coming out to my family and friends. The first was my mother whom I told through a letter left on the kitchen table. She found my letter and took it to work with her that morning, texting me about an hour after classes started: “I read your letter, we’ll talk when you get home. I love you,”  which admittedly made me panic. 

When I finally made it home my mother brought me to her room where she told me that no matter who I am, no matter what I do she will always love me the same and hugged me tight. From that day, my pride has never wavered. Thank you for giving me the courage to be proud, mom.



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