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THE OVERALL REASON FOR THE Pride season is to celebrate sexuality and commemorate the Stonewall riots of ’69, but the occasion can be even more special and unforgettable if you celebrate your individuality. Just like there are several different colors on the rainbow flag, there are also several different reasons and ways for you to show pride in yourself and who you are as a member of the LGBT community.

O’Brian Gunn

Goin’ Against the Gay-rain

There are so many stereotypes about what it is to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender that we ourselves have bought into certain expectations and categorizations. Dare to be a bear, twink, furry, pup, or gaymer who’s more than just a member of an LGBT sub community. Take pride in what you’re passionate about, your ambitions, your quirks, and your self and let that radiate from the inside out. Show the LGBT community and everyone else that you’re more than a label, because you are.

Brave the Way

Unfortunately, not everywhere is as safe and open-minded as Denver when it comes to being gay. Some small towns, Southern states, and international countries have yet to embrace LGBT citizens, which often forces those folks to celebrate their pride in less overt ways, in secret, or not at all. We musn’t forget those who are fighting for LGBT progression, recognition, and equal rights in areas of the country and the world where homosexuality is considered a sin, punishable by death, or a criminal act. Even those who are simply living each day as it comes while being authentic and unashamed of who they are have something to be proud of. Take pride in who you are, no matter where you are.

Don’t Refute It, Transmute It

Pedophiles. Demons. Sinners. Disgusting. Faggot. Dyke. Tranny. There’s no end to the derogatory and harmful names we’ve been called or the number of derogatory and harmful things that have been said about us. Rather than lowering ourselves by firing back with equal rancor at those who would call us everything but children of God, we can take pride in the fact that there are members and supporters of the LGBT community who use those words and misconceptions as fuel to change and challenge minds and hearts one at a time. What could be better than taking someone else’s hate and using it to bring about peace and understanding? Sometimes the best revenge isn’t looking good, but instead doing good.

Show Us & Them Your Color

As you gather with the rest of the LGBT community and supporters this Pride season, don’t forget that you’re an LGBT individual. Remember that a song needs several different and unique voices and sounds to be truly great and timeless. Be inspired by those who came before you, no matter what community they may be or were part of, but don’t forget to use your own voice, write your own story, and compose your own music. Add a new color to the palette, bring something fresh to the table, and find your own cause to take up.

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As you’re packing and getting ready for the Pride, remember to bring your heart and soul. And even more importantly, don’t forget to wave them high and proud for everyone to see.