There are many definitions of the word and even more interpretations of it. But during the month of June in the US, Pride means something specific, and very special to me as a gay person.
According to the 2021 Presidential Proclamation on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) Rights,
“Pride is both a jubilant communal celebration of visibility and a personal celebration of self-worth and dignity.”
That sums it up nicely for me and makes my heart swell with well, pride when I see that our Commander in Chief views us as a community of individuals whose dignity and contribution to society are worthy of recognition – of being seen and valued for who we are and what we contribute to the whole – even though we are different in some ways from the majority of our fellow citizens.
Differences, or more precisely, the meanings we attach to them, nearly always are at the heart of conflict, whether civil or personal.
I believe one way, you another – one or both of us can’t accept that difference and the result is conflict, power struggle, and division. My objection to how you differ from me is the key. If only I could accept you as YOU ARE: a beautiful, unique, and fascinating expression of Life who is by your very existence valid and equal. If only I could see you, understand your perspective, and imagine what it feels like to be YOU. If only I could embrace your differences instead of fearing them.
If you’ve read some of our previous emails, the “if only’s” listed above may sound familiar, and you may already know that it is in fact possible for me to see you that way, and for you to see me.
Safe Conversations gives us a lens through which to view each other that doesn’t obscure our differences but allows us to see them with curiosity and appreciation, rather than judgment and fear. If my community could regard your community with such open-heartedness, and yours mine, imagine what we could accomplish together!
Pride reminds me that our diverse communities coming together in shared purpose and equanimity is not only possible but essential for the survival of our species. Our differences are our strength, and the essence of who we are as humans is the Truth that binds us together. Isn’t it time to lean into this ongoing conversation with a new perspective? To speak up and speak out for each other; seek understanding rather than dominance; choose relationship over self-promotion?
Pride celebrates the rights of the individual as it elevates the purpose and meaning of community. Pride is about each of us and all of us. It’s about being seen and appreciated for who we are and what we bring to this life. It’s about relationships, pure and simple, but not always easy.
– Keva (she/her), Senior SC Trainer