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Embracing Pride: A Journey of Self-Acceptance, Love, and Advocacy

Coming out is a massive decision for any young person. It is an anxiety-filled opportunity to be vulnerable with your loved ones.

As someone who didn’t come out to themselves until adulthood, I had some extra worry built in. How do you tell your parents you’re a lesbian? Do they need to know? Will they even care? The truth accidentally becomes a secret if the topic never arises naturally.

The summer after the COVID lockdown, I finally came out to my dad. It just blurted out. I could see the words right in front of me escaping from my lips, “Well, did you know I am a Lesbian?” Silence. Of course, he didn’t know. I hadn’t told him. We both just sat in silence for a while. He finally looked at me, said “ok,” and left for a walk.

It’s hard to be proud of yourself when you’re being shoved in the closet at every opportunity. Being introduced as “my daughter and her, uh, friend;” unlacing fingers whenever someone looks at you in an unfriendly way; about me and who doesn’t; not being able to picture your wedding as a happy day because people you care about would decline the invitation.

Loving another person is something I should be proud of. I want to scream everywhere to everyone. I love her! We make sacrifices for each other! We are there for each other through everything, and it’s beautiful. It’s not shameful! Our love is not shameful.

This is why we celebrate Pride. The queer community has fought hard for us to have the lives that we have. But the fight is not over. It is still difficult for people in the LGBTQ+ community to love freely. It is on us to ensure young people can grow up loud and proud.

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