Today’s photo helps me recognize and welcome another month of June, which means another Pride month 🙂 This particular photo was taken from October 2010, a little over a year after I came out.
In this photo I was attending my first LGBT advocacy rally, which was supporting Chris Armstrong, the sitting student body president of the University of Michigan. The then current Assistant Attorney General of the State of Michigan, Andrew Shrivell, had targeted Armstrong as a “dangerous homosexual ‘rights’ extremist” and created a blog, began protests and initiated the move in demanding Armstrong’s resignation as the president of the student body. To get more of an understanding of the situation here’s the link to AC360’s interview with Shrivell: http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/09/28/michigan.justice.blog/
In addition to my first LGBT rally, it was also the first time I had acted as a staff member openly about my identity and supporting the LGBT Movement. I was nervous, scared and apprehensive at first. I talked with a few friends and even my supervisor on whether or not I should support and attend the rally and what negative back lash I or the office may receive. Ultimately I attended and supported the students as an LGBT identified staff member. But I remember thinking that it shouldn’t take that much effort in order to take a stand on an issue you feel strongly for or are even effected by.
It reminded me that it takes courage and bravery and ability to identify as LGBT and to advocate for it, whether or not it should be that way. Now, not everyone is able to identify for safety reasons or other situations, however I have to applaud those who have been able to come out and have decided to share their stories and journeys.
So in recognition of Pride Month and honoring shared stories, I give you my story and a recent friend’s post on her journey. So this month as people share their stories, know that it’s not always easy nor has it been to share, and tell them thank you for sharing! Happy Pride Everyone!
Until next time
Peace, Love and Pandas!