Updated: Jul 16, 2021
Pride is the freedom of self-expression; pride is also having the choice to share that expression in whatever volume you see fit. Pride is belonging to a community where your differences are celebrated; pride is also a sacred relationship you have with yourself. Pride is living your own life with equality amongst others; pride is also learning and remembering those who fought to pave the ways.
Pride can be showcased in its simplest form, from being, to parades, rainbow flags and fashion; it can also be conveyed through complex discussions of the different issues we need to confront and tackle. Moreover, pride is a declaration that needs to be normalized.
My Coming Out
Growing up as an Asian immigrant, a lot of the family values have been brought over and continued to be instilled. From the traditional education and career choice to the standard way of raising a family, it was something I kept brushing aside for as long as I can. During my middle school years, I was able to confide in a small groups of friends. As I progressed to high school and college, I continued to do the same. In a way I was living a double life. I was able to fully express myself outside of home, but whenever I am home, I would convert back to another self. Years would passed by. Each one with the same conversation about marriage and family; each one with the same divert of focus and excuse. Each year was a reminder that I haven't been able to fully be myself around my family.
Finally during the 2019 World Pride, I had the courage to open up to my parents with the help of my friend. With colorful balloons decorated from post to post, streamers and confetti covered the floors of the streets, it felt like the whole world was behind me and supporting my cause. I finally mustered the words to open up, words exchanged, volume escalated, tears fallen and ended with a piercing silence. When you hope for the best and also prepare for the worst, it's never a perfect ending to the story. When their reality has been torn while mine is being mended, I can only try to comprehend that it is never easy. I realized while it was not the best time to come out, nor was it the worst where I can later go back out and celebrate and be in the present of my community. While it wasn't a full acceptance, it's a step forward toward progress.
At that time, I learned that not only are there more people in the same predicament as me, there are many more who are living the same double life that I did. Each individual is going through their own journey as is with those who we share with. While it was not easy to take a step forward, it opened the door for opportunity to learn and grow together.
Love and Support Those Around Us
Pride is being able to live every minute to the fullest; pride is also having more moments to be lived. Let's live ours lives while cultivating the environment for others to do the same whenever they are ready. Let's continue to have conversations and discussions so that we can understand each other better.