The Meaning of Pride!
We asked different people around the world to tell us, what Pride means to them, or to share their most memorable Pride experience with us. This is what they said:
“My most memorable experience was my very first Pride; West Hollywood, 1984. The atmosphere was so alive I felt like a kid at Disneyland. For the first time ever (outside of a gay bar) there were gay people totally being themselves; out in the open! There were news crews and cameras everywhere. I was scared shitless that someone would catch a glimpse of me on tv. 😎 At the beginning of the day, I was ducking and dodging cameras, news and otherwise, all over the place; until my best gay friend at the time and his boyfriend managed to get enough alcohol in me that I didn’t care anymore. 🍷 🥃 🍸 🍹 It turned out to be one of the best experiences I’d ever had.” 🏳️🌈
Darryl McDade, Communications Officer – ROMEO (Amsterdam)
“After leaving Brazil 11 years ago, because of my homosexuality, I’m proud to say I’m myself the way nature made me. I prefer being hated for being who I am than being what I’m not and unhappy! Happiness comes from within and Pride means loving yourself, not only gay but all humans!”
Aquila Junior, Magnus Utopia (Brazil / Amsterdam)
50 Years of Love!
“Just turning 50, Pride means more than a parade and a party. But in taking pride in my gayness, it taught me to take pride in my life, and everything I do. Making Me…the best of ME.”
Terrence Smalley, Owner-Your Home Inspector Guy (Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA)
Related: Pride: From Protest to Celebration
Pride is Light!
“For me Pride means, completely loving myself and others for being our authentic selves. It means visibly celebrating anything I’ve ever been unfairly shamed for in my life; it means fully embracing my body, who I fuck, how I fuck, who I love, my gender expression, my HIV status, all of it. And it means celebrating others in the same way for bringing what makes them different- what makes them valuable- out of the closet and into the light.”
Jeremiah Johnson, Community Engagement Officer – TAG (New York, NY, USA)
“Pride to me is inclusivity, visibility and most of all self-love.”
Fabio Bortolazzi, Project Manager (Italy / Amsterdam)
“Pride to me, is a special place in time, where we declare our social and economic place in the community; our wildly acceptable differences, diversity and values, and to bring awareness of our contributions to society. To remind the world that we’re here, we’ve been here all along. With a touch of edge, we can move people out of their comfort zones. To call attention to inequities, injustice. To celebrate hard fought victories. To celebrate, be seen and party, in a crowd of “us”. It can be euphoric. I’ve been going to Pride since San Francisco 1978 when it seemed to all begin along with the gay flag and a true awareness for Stonewall. What happened at the Stonewall Inn bar continues to happen today in much smaller communities away from the cities. The harassment, the shaming, the violence. The loss of lives unfulfilled. Moving between the Bay Area and LA, I’ve been a part of the maturation of Pride in California. Whether San Fran, LA, Sacramento, Long Beach, etc., I’ll always find myself at Pride. I love going to different Pride festivities because there is always something new to learn, new people to meet.”
Roger Irby, Retired (Sacramento, California, USA)
“Pride for me happens in a moment. It is somewhere in the colorful parade, the gatherings of gawkers or the uplifting pop music, when I suddenly get this feeling of love and acceptance. After years of self-doubt and anxiety, I feel accepted when I see how many people are like me, how many people support me, and how far we have come as a community. It always happens randomly- but that feeling of joy is worth the fight it took to get here.”
Brendan O’Love, Storyteller (South Africa)
“When I was 8 or 9 years old, I saw the Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Parade on TV. Irish gay people were not allowed to be out and gay on St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin; we were excluded. Later, gay people were allowed to join the parade for the first time, but they couldn’t wear anything green or anything that might suggest they were Irish.”
“When I go to Pride now, I feel represented. I feel included and I feel free to be me. I love Ireland and it’s a very different place now, but for countries that still forbid their gay people to be included, Pride is for them; a beacon of hope, a war cry. Lets beat on the drums of love together in defiance of intolerance elsewhere. For me, Pride is not a party nor a celebration, it is still very much a political act and a protest.”
Joseph Kearney, Social Media Officer – ROMEO (Ireland / Amsterdam)
Impact of Pride
“Pride to me means giving a platform to, whoever is proudly themselves in our community, because the impact of showing yourself and seeing yourself is immense. If it weren’t for my personal local heroes when I was younger, I would have never seen the possibility of being successful and accepted for being femme and loud as hell. So I’m proud to be part of Pride Amsterdam to showcase the entire group of LGBTQ+ heroes on boats, stages, panels and on the streets. To inspire and motivate new heroes that will blossom in the years to come. And I see Pride as a motivator for the rest of the year. If we can be this way one week a year, we can be like this every day!”
GJ, Presenter/Journalist/Superhero – OutTV (Amsterdam)
“Pride to me is both a celebration of how far we’ve come, and a reminder of how far we’ve yet to go as a city, as a country, as a civilization. For a long time I believed that Pride had become obsolete in a city as tolerant as Amsterdam; it was just a reason for gay guys to party. I had never even considered the challenges that trans and non-binary people face. I didn’t notice the very real issues of transphobia, racism, misogyny and body-shaming within the queer community itself. I hadn’t realized that to this day, queer people are still being violently attacked in the streets and disowned by their families. I simply didn’t see any of that. And that’s EXACTLY why Pride is still relevant today. The struggle for visibility and acceptance is still very VERY real.”
Orlando Haynes, Seven Ultra Omni (St. Martin / Amsterdam)
Kick Ass Pride
“What Pride means to me?
Being proud is not easy.
Being proud means putting in the effort.
I deserve to smile. You too.
This is why respect for your fellow man is the key for Pride to be.
And Pride without respect has no reason to be.
Being proud to me means to welcome others,
to talk and exchange with as little judgment as I can.
As I tend to judge and make conclusions when experiencing other people,
understanding the value of the word RESPECT has given me another additional reason to feel and experience pride.
This way, I appreciate my uniqueness! And I trust this is the attitude to follow.
Give yourself a like, #BeProud, #BeRespectful and do not forget to kick asses!”
Francesco Glorioso, Polyglot and Simultaneous Interpreter ( Sicily, Italy / Paris)
Tell us everything!
Would you like to share what Pride means to you? Or, do you have a most memorable Pride story to tell? Send your stories or quotes to firstname.lastname@example.org and we may include it here.
Need more love?