Being proud at Columbus Pride

Posted on June 17, 2012

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I had the privilege of attending Columbus Pride Festival this year (my second PrideFest). I even had a friend go with me this time, which makes it a hundred times more fun. Just as we found each other on High Street, one of his friends from school spotted him. We stood with her for most of the parade, talking about how they don’t do Pride in their country (Thailand). I think it’s because they don’t need it there. Without a Judaic faith, they don’t have the strong homophobia that is backed by religion (they have it, but it’s less ingrained).

I reflected a lot about Pride, as my non-affirming housemates asked whether I really though that it was the right thing for me to go to. I responded with “It isn’t as bad as you think,” and tried to explain why we still need Pride in America. “Gay Pride” doesn’t mean “I’m better than those straight people.” What it means is that I am unashamed of who I am, of who God made me to be. I feel like the word “pride” really brings up a negative connotation for Mennonites, and probably other Anabaptists. Pride is an invasive sin, and an un-Anabaptist trait. I’ve seen funny traditions in the Mennonite church, everyone sits in the back of the church (it would be prideful- or self-serving to sit in the front), simple dress is an attempt to fight pride, as are many of the “simple” traditions.

I think that Pride is something we LGBTQ Mennonites need, so that we can let go of the shame that we grew up with. Countries where being gay is still taboo need them even more. I think that as an invisible minority, it is nice to simply be in a large group of people that share that characteristic with you.

I spoke tonight with a housemate and she mentioned how being Canadian married to an American, she sometimes hears things about Canadians that an American might not say if he/she knew that they were talking front of one (I told her I could definitely sympathize).

Here are all the bracelets that I got at Pride

HRC – Vote (Obama)
HRC – Love Conquers Hate
PNC – for being proud to show your pride
“Hey Lover” – Jamie Dykes – Jamie was hit by a drunk driver
Stonewall Columbus – Pride 2012
Stonewall Columbus – Pride 2011 (From my first pride)

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