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A celebration of pride, and what it means to me.

June 6, 2019Will Leffert

It is pride month, and I can't be happier.. And more sad.

I was born in June, and sharing my birth month with father's day, as well as the first day of summer, kinda bummed me out. I'm not here to talk about the reasonings there, though.

I'm here to talk about what pride means to me.

We live in interesting times. While those of us who live under the LGBT+ banner are afforded so much more than we were 10 years ago, it is still difficult at times to be yourself.

Our love is legally recognized. There are countless supporters out in the world standing among us.

Our love is also reviled by many, including those who take part in running our country.

Pride, to me, isn't necessarily for being proud of being who I am.. It is about feeling a little more comfortable about expressing who I am. Feeling safe to say, "I'm not straight". Having people who accept me.

You may not have realized it before that paragraph, but I have been dropping the hints above.. I myself can't really easily classify where I belong on the spectrum, but that's because sexuality isn't just a series of switches. Sexuality is a very fluid thing. If I had to be nailed down to a "genre", I would say I am bisexual, but it isn't quite that simple. I only really discovered myself about a year ago, which shocked me, and also shocked some of my friends.

Either way, I love that June is pride month. That is something I can be glad to share June with.

Now, on to the question of straight pride..

Have you ever been denied service, or a job, for being straight?

Have you ever been assaulted, verbally or otherwise, for being straight?

Have you ever been told that you're going to hell, just for being straight?

If you have, you're one of the infinitesimally small group that may have experienced it.

Not like those of us who celebrate OUR pride.

Even before I knew what I was, I was called a faggot.

I had rocks thrown at me.

I've been pushed around, threatened, teased, and more.

I'm not alone in that, either. There are countless people I've met and talked to who have met similar fates. Many people have actually been killed for falling under the LGBT banner.

How many headlines have you read about men or women being killed because they were straight?

I can't recall a single one off the top of my head.. And I have known plenty of conservative folks who would be glad to shove that headline into my face if it ever did surface.

I'd like to close with this to my LGBT+ friends.. Because, even though I may not know you, I count you in some way as a friend.

To my lesbian friends, I love you, and hope that not only will you be able to live as equals as women, but also have your love recognized for the truth it contains.

To my gay friends, I love you, and you deserve to be able to show it in public without fear of attacks, whether verbal, or physical.

To my bisexual friends, I love you, and you are so much more than a misunderstood trope used in poorly written dramas. Keep being you.

To my transgender and transsexual friends, I love you, and I want the world to recognize you for who you really are inside, and hope that should you wish to, you can undergo your transformation on the outside as well.

To every letter, color, and more under our rainbow banner.. No matter who you love, you are loved, too, and with any luck, you'll truly feel that love in your lifetime so much more than you feel others' hate.