This June, I’m celebrating Pride- in more ways than one.
The history of the LGBT community- with all its battles and victories, its highs and lows, its setbacks and accomplishments- and the fight for a more inclusive and accepting future are spotlighted the whole month.
I came out almost four years ago– although I knew I was gay since I was a young kid- and, sadly, I can’t claim to be the proud gay man I thought I would be, that I want to be. The blame is all on me. I am throwing away the absurd idea that there’s a handbook that explains everything I’d need to be gay. I’m going to figure it out- at least, my definition and vision of it. And, in order for me to do that, I need to have pride in myself. And, I don’t mean pride in just that (being gay) but as a human being.
So, Pride is my focus for the month. As you may know by now if you’re reading this, I love setting up monthly challenges. It’s been awhile since I did one and actually followed it through completion. One of the things that kept me from doing so is that the challenges or goals I’ve set up were too vague. A true goal needs to be quantifiable or measured in a way to know if it was accomplished or not.
My intention is not to be all up in people’s faces about being gay but I also don’t want to be ashamed of such a large important aspect of what makes me who I am. I’m excited that I’ll be attending my first Pride parade here in Portland. I’ll just be watching it since I’ll feel like such a hypocrite if I decide to march in it when I’m not as proud as I can be about who I am- yet.
On the other hand, I do feel that visibility (even within the small circle of people who know me) is important. Even I need to remind myself that within the LGBT community, there’s a whole spectrum of identities. We don’t all fit into one mold.
-Read books and watch films tackling LGBT issues and history.
-Read books by LGBT authors.
-Showcase a video or text throughout the month of the LGBT community.
-Attend Pride Parade June 19th.
Pride in oneself requires self-care. It sounds selfish but it isn’t. It’s not the same as being self-centered. When you take care of yourself, you’re in a much better position to help others. I’m also trying to apply the following principle into my life: Make time for the things that are important to you.
-Instead of coming up with new ideas, flesh out the ones I’ve already come up with.
-Set up Writer Hour every day to work on stories (and not blogging) and an extra hour on days off plus an extra hour throughout the week to read up on the craft.
If I have pride in myself, I won’t be too harsh on myself when I make mistakes or be too caught up in being perfect.
If I have pride in myself, I won’t overindulge in eating and spending so much.
If I have pride in myself, I will be more confident in meeting new people.
If I have pride in myself, I’ll be able to help others more and better.