Passing It Down: Pride is Generational

Happy Pride! 🌈🌈🌈

Are you celebrating Pride this month? I’m on the other side of the world until July (sad face), so I’m celebrating with memes and glitter (and more memes). I wish I could go to Pride with my friends back home, but at least I can reminisce about my first Pride last year!

That’s what got me thinking about how healing pride feels. Going to my first Pride, getting a pansexual flag, being surrounded by people who are queer too, that’s all been so healing to me, and I know it is for lots of other queer folks too.

I hope it’s something we can pass on to the next generation. That they won’t need to heal from as many things we do. That pride is their norm. ❤

With that in mind, I wrote this. I hope it’s a good reminder this Pride that pride is for us all.

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🌈🌈🌈

Pride is healing. Pride is for us all. When we’re proud of who we are, we give our pride not just to ourselves, but strength to those around us, closure to those before us, and a better chance for those to come.

Our ancestors pass down how they think to us, but there is much they have left unhealed. So when we don’t have the open mind to question how we see things and let that change, our legacy can be the pain unresolved by generations, a pain that will become our children’s. Unless we make new traditions.

All this means, homophobia is generational. But pride is too.

 

And so I say to every Chinese ancestor who lived through stigma, and all their stories of love, perseverance, repression, heartbreak and more that I may never know: pride.

I say to the shapers of Christian history who felt homophobia, abuse, gender inequality, and more should continue in their faiths, pride despite you.

I say to the founders of the church I considered family who passed their faith on convinced every bit must be right, and the individual faith journeys of everyone in it: pride.

 

I say to my younger self through every church message about Sodom and Gomorrah: pride remains.

I say to the middle school where gay was like a curse word, but 1 boy danced down the track singing Lady Gaga anyway: pride.

I say to every homophobic, judgmental word that came out of my mouth for years: I’m sorry. Pride.

I say to anyone who is still homophobic and everyone who may one day change their minds: may you one day see what pride can mean.

 

I say to the day I began to question everything I believed, including homophobia, while keeping it all a secret: pride.

I say to the storied legacy of activism and bravery that I could never have considered myself queer without: thanks to you, pride.

I say to the high school where I was lost and afraid but found other queer students paving a way: pride.

I say to the floors where I lay more times than I remember, convinced I could not make it out of this alive: pride was born here.

 

I say to the disgust in my father’s eyes when he told me “that’s what the Bible says”: pride.

I say to my mother as she said “ew” to two women kissing on TV and later sent me well-meaning Google search links on how gays get HIV: pride.

I say this not in spite but truth and hope. Because while this destroyed me, years later I know my parents are carrying an attitude passed down, but never put down. I hope unendingingly to show them we can see things another way. Pride.

 

I say to the poster taped up on the sanctuary door by someone from the church I had considered family, titled “March to Defend Marriage”: pride anyway.

I say to the book on my parents’ shelf comparing being lesbian to a cancer, over which I scribbled the word ABOMINATION: pride.

I say to every single person in the congregation where I grew up who may be queer too: pride to you.

 

I say to my secret second life in college, when I secretly worked for the Gender and Sexuality Center and found an almost all-queer group of amazing friends: pride together.

I say to the checkered red-and-black go bag that used to sit in my closet at all times, because if my parents were to find out I was a queer disbeliever it might all be over: pride.

I say to all the days I firmly believed I could never be both authentic and alive, and the woman on Trevor Line who saved my life: pride, pride, pride.

I say to every Christian who says “love the sinner hate the sin,” “it’s a regular sin just like divorce,” or “I’ll pray for you”: nope, pride.

 

I say to the night I blurted out the truth over the phone to my parents and all the things that would come to pass after we hung up: fuck it, pride.

I say to the chosen family that surrounded me, employed me, housed me, helped me get financial aid, and loved me in the year since, redefining love and life itself to me: pride.

I say to the reason I write — all the messages I’ve received from people who are still in the closet or rethinking their lives — and to my dreams of counseling, public speaking, and writing: pride.

 

I say to my 爺爺 & yun yun (grandfather and grandmother) who must never know I am queer: pride in different ways.

I say to the people I love and have yet to love: pride brought me to you.

I say to the honeyed sunlight pouring through the window on a new day in a life I never knew was possible, a heart my own and hands with much left to do: pride today and tomorrow and the next.

All this to say to every person yet to be born in the families I am part of: you will have pride.

I choose to pass it down.

💖 Max

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