What Pride means to me

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Jack Strickland

Pride. Something so easy to say you have, so easy to display. It is displayed in how we conduct ourselves in our day-to-day lives. It is in using our manners and being polite to others. Regardless of how others may be, or treat us. It is in being fair in our dealings with our detractors, not demanding something of them that we are not willing to give ourselves. It is being true to ourselves. Being gay is not an identity, being ourselves is. Being gay is part of our person, not our entire person. Pride is being the best that we can be and not worrying about what others may see. Pride comes from inside, others of like mind know it when they see it. Be it the bright rainbows, pink triangles, or the simple smile that we give a complete stranger. What is Pride to me? Being the best that I can be.

Riley and Kim Hackford

I feel pride when I stay in my seat at school and don’t yell out the answer.  I have ADHD and sometimes just not bouncing is a challenge.  I feel pride when my little brother does something smart and I know it is because I taught him.

I also am proud that I am from a gay family.  Not everybody understands that it is all right to have two moms and no dads.  Sometimes I wish I had a dad because all my other friends do.  They tell me that I am missing out and maybe I am a little but they are missing out on having two moms!

My Mama Kim teaches me how to mow the lawn and take care of the garden and she teaches me how to cook.  My Mama Ruth teaches me how to think differently.  She can do the Rubik’s puzzle in one minute and is teaching me tricks so I can learn.  She helps me with my multiplication tables and is there for me to hug and cuddle when I am sad.  Basically I am proud to have two moms and one brother.  We are a really good family.

Going to Pride also makes me feel Pride.  I like going to Pride because I see a lot of families like mine in Salt Lake City and that is not very common.

Mike Jensen

Pride means throwing off the shackles of a life full of self loathing and fear and replacing it with the inner peace and self love that comes from finally living my authentic life. It took me 48 years to get here and I will never look back. Life truly is beautiful.

Stefanie Lauritzen

Pride as defined in the dictionary is a sense of one’s own dignity or value. When I first came out I felt ashamed to have disappointed my parents. They had always done everything for me and given me everything I needed and most of what I wanted. They are always loving and usually supportive. Finding pride in myself meant finding myself and who I really am and not who my parents want me to be. Now I have confidence in who I am. I have a smile on my face and don’t question myself constantly. I am proud to be gay and while I know its not what my parents want, I know its my life and what makes me happy. We have grown to respect our differences and they are happy to call me their daughter again.

Dennette Oram

Pride is all about community, understanding, self respect and knowing that we are beautiful. We come in all sizes and colors, and each and every one of us has worth and meaning. It’s the place we feel comfortable with no judgment around.  We stand up for what we strongly believe and show what we are made of and have a good time with smiles on our faces.

Dana Barger

Pride to me is being able to wake up every day to my beautiful wife and our precious baby boy and our loving dog. We are prideful of each other and lift each other up everyday to be proud of our family and proud of who we are. Celebrating pride is being who we are, and knowing that we are a family.

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