The (recycled) theme for June is ‘Pride’

The theme for the stories to be shared in June is ‘Pride’. It was a theme covered by OutTales last July, and featured a broad range of stories (which you can check out here).

This morning, one of the headlines in the Huffington Post caught my attention – Pride Parades are they good or bad for the LGBT community and it got me thinking about Pride all over again and reflecting on the fact that the season is about to begin; and whether we like it or not, it is indeed part of ‘gay culture’.

I am sure that in the countries where it is illegal to be gay/lesbian or not culturally acceptable, those who identify as LGBTI would welcome an opportunity to have a day where they can come out and celebrate their sexuality with Pride. And yet, somehow for us living in countries where the law does not prevent us from celebrating our sexuality, Pride can often be seen as a relic from old days or simply another opportunity for escapism from the wounds that we are too ashamed to acknowledge.

A quote from the Huffington Post article reads:

For many people, Pride parades are a chance to come together and celebrate the community and how far it’s come, to remember and honor those who came before us, to support each other in our continued efforts to achieve equal rights and to celebrate what it means to be LGBT — both personally and politically.

But other LGBT people do not support Pride parades.

Some fault them for giving foes of the community ammunition with which to disparage the movement. They cite the often sex positive and flamboyant displays that are customarily part of the parades as enforcing the stereotype that LGBT people are silly, genderbending, sex-crazed freaks. They worry that LGBT people will never gain acceptance from the mainstream if they continue to flaunt their “otherness.”

As I said in the introduction to the theme last year, “Pride means different things to different people. There are some who feel Pride is no longer relevant and now a dated concept, there are some who feel it does not portray ‘gay life’ and is a misrepresentation of what being same gender loving is. On the other hand, there are some who feel it is just as relevant today as it was in the 80’s and 90’s. There is a lovely write-up in Wikipedia which encapsulates many of the intentions behind Pride, check it out.

Regardless of how one feels about Pride, many of us have stories about it – first Pride attended, watching the parade go by, hooking up with a potential beau, experiencing Pride in a country other than the one you live, taking your parents on a march. Even those who have never been to a Pride event have stories, they have stories of moments from their lives when they have stood with Pride as someone who is same gender loving – this after all is what Pride truly signifies – ‘that we are okay as we are and that we stand proudly in that knowledge’. Yes, I’m sure our stories are indeed endless when it comes to Pride.

So over the month of June, visit to read the stories of other fellow travelers and hear about their Pride stories. And if you are inspired to share your story, we are here, gathered around the fire waiting to hear your tale.

Your story does not need to be about the event ‘Gay Pride’, it could be Pride in another context.

You can send your stories to outtales@yahoo.com.

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