Defining Pride: Part Three

June 19, 2015

In this series of short essays, Diverse & Resilient staff members share their thoughts on the subject of pride: what does pride look like, what does pride mean to us as individuals, and what does pride mean to our community?

Defining Pride - Part Three

Hearts and hands.  They may not seem like the likeliest team, but in our exploration of pride, we know them to be world-changing.

Hands do the heart’s work.  Most often, people use them as a way to communicate by writing, typing, and for sign language.  With our hands, we do the work that must be done.  We reach out and connect with others–handshakes, hive-fives, a pat on the back, or holding hands.  With our hands, we reach for more.

Hands get work done.  We as a community have made incredible progress in society and within our own communities.  We are working harder to imagine more and create sustainable and thriving communities while showing love and support.  When we demonstrate pride and accept ourselves for who we are, we become stronger and can reach new and beautiful heights.

With our hearts, we hope and dream for more in our community.  We find the passion and drive to move forward.  We love.  They can be opened to love and acceptance from all places.  Hearts can hurt, too, and hearts can heal.

Hearts remember love, joy, triumph, and pride.  When discussing pride, one member of our community remembers:

Whenever I think I about pride, I always reflect on the first pride parade I ever attended and how it shaped my idea of who the LGBTQ community is and how we can all work together.  I was in NYC in 1986.  Not surprisingly, there was a feeling of festivity and excitement in the air as I stood on along the sidewalk on 5th Avenue.  There were floats, loud music, and more rainbows and shirtless people (of all genders) than I’d ever imagined could be in one place at the same time.

At one point, the parade took a somber tone as the street began to fill with row after row of men in wheelchairs being guided down the parade route by caregivers.  These men, all of whom were living with AIDS, were attentively surrounded by a group of lesbians.  I was deeply moved as I witnessed them all marching in solidarity with one another.

We are stronger when we hold hands and lead with our hearts.  That is indeed something to be proud of.

Written by Katie Abbott, Kofi Short, & Mark Silva.