What Pride Means to Us: Celebrating the Voices of our LGBTQ+ Youth

What Pride Means to Us: Celebrating the Voices of our LGBTQ+ Youth 495 401 cj

What Pride Means to Us: Celebrating the Voices of our LGBTQ+ Youth

Pride Month is celebrated every June to honor the LGBTQ+ community and our fight for equal rights. It began with the Stonewall Uprising in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, when LGBTQ+ people in New York City protested police brutality and discrimination during a police bar raid of a gay bar, the Stonewall Inn. The riots are widely considered to be a turning point in the LGBTQ+ rights movement. Pride month is a time to honor the bravery of those who paved the way for LGBTQ+ rights, while also serving as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for equality and acceptance worldwide. Pride Month is the perfect time to amplify the voices of our LGBTQ+ youth and understand what Pride truly means to them So, let’s dive right in and hear from some real-life quotes from our Kaleidoscope participants that beautifully capture the essence of Pride from the perspective of the LGBTQ+ youth community:

“To me, Pride is being proud of and embracing who I am and what I identify as. Pride is who and what I am, and who and what I am not ashamed to be. I am proud of who I am, and that is what pride means to me.”

These words speak volumes about the power of self-acceptance and embracing one’s identity without reservation. Pride is about celebrating every facet of ourselves, unapologetically and authentically.

But Pride goes beyond individual celebration; it’s also about societal acceptance and support. As another youth shares, “To me, pride means the ability to feel cared about by society. It means I can be seen and heard as an individual for my differences and how that builds me as a person. It also means I can feel safer in the world and less like a burden, even for just one month.”

These sentiments highlight the importance of creating a world where everyone feels valued, respected, and safe to express their true selves. Pride is about fostering an environment of inclusivity and understanding, where diversity is not just accepted but celebrated.

Yet, for some, Pride can be a complex experience, as expressed here: “Pride is tricky for me to showcase. It feels like I need to lay my emotions out for everyone to see. But having Pride feels good. Even if I’m too scared to be loud about it, being prideful in who I am makes me feel a little stronger.”

This reflection underscores the nuances of the Pride experience, acknowledging both the challenges and the empowering aspects of embracing one’s identity.

Finally, Pride is a symbol of progress and resilience, as articulated in this quote: “It’s hard to believe that LGBTQ+ people were once punished by law for loving [who they love] or being someone they’re comfortable being. The fact that people fought for the right to be who they are and we’re now able to be who we are more freely is a huge step in the right direction for us and future generations.”

These words remind us of the courageous individuals who paved the way for LGBTQ+ rights and the ongoing journey toward equality and acceptance.

As we gear up for Pride Month, it’s not just about the rainbow flags and vibrant parades; it’s about uplifting the voices of our LGBTQ+ youth every single day. Here at Kaleidoscope, we’re committed to creating a space where these voices are heard, celebrated, and empowered, not just during Pride Month but all year round.

To honor and celebrate our youth, we are hosting our annual Pride Party on June 14th in Sherman Oaks! This in-person gathering is a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth to come together, make new friends, and express themselves freely. Let’s dance, play games, and enjoy music in a welcoming environment. RSVP here!

From all of us at Kaleidoscope, wishing you a safe and joyous Pride Month.