Justin Beck | Ranger Reporter
Pride, equality and love. Those all were on my mind last month while attending Pride in Dallas.What does Pride mean? For the LGBT community, it is a celebration of love, equality and an opportunity to let go and reveal your colorful side.Pride isn’t a date on a calendar. It’s not a party; it’s a feeling.It’s the warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you see a pair of elderly men holding hands while shopping, knowing that they’ve been together for decades. It’s the tears of joy you shed when an 18-year-old boy delivers his graduation speech and thanks his two moms for taking such good care of him. It’s the sadness you feel whenever you see a young woman crying over the grave of another woman. It’s the anger felt when you meet the guy who is lucky to survive the beating that left him disabled and the sorrow when attending the funeral of the teen who committed suicide because he saw no way out.
Pride is a rainbow of emotions for any lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person, especially those of us in smaller cities such as Amarillo. There aren’t many places in Amarillo for us to hang our rainbow flags, because it puts a target on us. Pride isn’t hiding who you are. Pride is the opposite. Pride is being able to be yourself in public without fear of someone attacking you. Pride is represented by the hope that someday you can meet the right person and settle down and live your life in happiness. For those of us in Amarillo, pride is represented by not being brought down by the judgment and hatred of others. It’s being able to get up every morning and go to school and go to work, being a productive member of society in a society that would rather see us dead and gone away. Pride isn’t about running away to a big city where you can hide in a large gay community; it’s about staying put and taking roots where you live. The Dallas weekend was about pride in being a member of the LGBT community, but everybody should celebrate pride, whether straight or gay, because chances are that somebody you know and love could be gay, and they need your support now more than ever. The world can be a hostile place to those of us who don’t have the support of friends and family. We are the generation of change, the generation that has seen the legalization of gay marriage. Now it is time as people to step forward and take pride in the fact that someday, people will view people as people and not as labels.