The following post was written by Brianna Hill, an intern with the City’s Office of LGBT Affairs.

Person sitting on bleachers and wearing a yellow shirt, black pants, and construction boots. As a young adult who is a part of the LGBTQ community, I am continuously learning about the meaning of Pride and what it means for the LGBTQ community as a whole. From an early age, I always felt the need to reject my sexuality because I believed that I wouldn’t be able to fit in with society’s idea of “normal.” Even after coming out to my family and friends—who were all very supportive—I still felt like I needed to hide that part of me in order to fit in. Because of this, I never connected with others like me in the community. I never joined any LGBTQ+ groups for youth. I never attended a Pride event because I was afraid I would be ostracized by those around me.

Now that I am getting older, I know the importance of being myself and embracing who I am. For me, Pride is a big part of that.

There are many ways to define Pride. Pride is hope, unity, courage, an opportunity for self-expression—but most importantly, Pride is love. Pride is acknowledging our history—both good and bad—and recognizing how far we have come in implementing inclusion and acceptance within our society.

It is important to me because it gives me a sense of self. Having Pride has enabled me to not only embrace who I am, but to celebrate my identity as well. To know that there are other people around me with similar narratives and experiences allows me to feel safe and empowered. As someone who is still understanding the world around me, it is important for me to know that I am not alone.

I am proud of who I am. I am proud of where I come from. And most importantly, I am proud of my Pride.