The true meaning of Pride

Written By Nathan Gentry, For The Globe

To see photos from Pittsburgh’s Pride Weekend, click here.

Photo by Nathan Gentry

What does pride mean to you?

To some, pride is that feeling of acceptance. The ability to be acknowledged as an equal not only within the community around them, but also within themselves. To others, it’s the fulfillment from within, knowing that they can go anywhere outside of their own personal bubble and not have to worry that they will be judged for being who they are.

However, for years there has been a group of individuals that hold their pride within for fear that they will be subjected to cruel and harsh judgment from their peers leading to discriminatory acts. These individuals are the members of the LGBTQ community.

For one weekend a year, cities throughout the United States host a weekend of events celebrating the LGBTQ community. This weekend is typically referred to as Pride Weekend where thousands of people from all regions come together to celebrate their love for each other and themselves.

In many cases you finally get to see these individuals show off their true colors and dressing up in the most individualistic outfits.

Wherever you are in the world, if you happen to be attending Pride Weekend, you get a chance to experience an overwhelming sense of acceptance for everyone. You find out that Pride Weekend is not only for the gay, lesbian, transsexual, pansexual, bisexual individuals, but rather everyone.

Pride Weekend invites all to come out to an enormous party-like atmosphere where people both gay and straight unite as friends and true members of a community through concerts, games, parades, costume parties and an abundance of acceptance within the air.

Most importantly, Pride Weekend provides an immense educational opportunity to not only the community around, but the world throughout. It awakens people from their discriminative thinking, their discontent with contrasting lifestyles and provides a new outlook towards accepting others for being themselves. It is a tool and a guideline for what the world could be if we allow ourselves to embrace everyone for who they really are. It shows that they should be acknowledged, understood, invited and loved. Festivals like these allow us to create an invitation to conversation with our own loved ones.

These festivals allow younger generations to be able to self-identify with their own feelings and provides them with the comfort that it is okay to be who you are and love who you want to love.

It’s true to say, you never know who around you might be sheltering their true inner personality and emotions. It could be a roommate, a best friend or even your child. To them, holding in their true identity is one of the loneliest things they can possibly experience. Pride Weekend is just a stepping stool for everyone to invite the ones around them to live happily and to live expressively.

So whether you are a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, straight, black, blue, white, short, tall, thin, thick, bald or grizzly, and whether you seven years-old or 61, anyone and everyone should take time to get out to their local community’s Pride Weekend festivities. It will be, without a doubt, an experience that will provide you with massive amounts of fun, leave you with new friends and provide you with a whole new outlook on life and what it means to be happy.