When most people think of Pride organizations, they picture rainbows, buzz cut lesbians and drag queens sashaying. And, that is one form of Pride. The Pride that most of us needed for support as we came out into the world. A world of immigrant families, where no matter if your grandmother spoke Portuguese, Khmer or Spanish, she was always asking, “when are you going to get married?” Being LGBTQ in Fall River, and in general can sometimes be very isolating, especially when the nearest gay club is twenty minutes away. That loud, butch, bass thumping, booty short wearing Pride, acted like a security blanket that you could strip off as soon as you arrived. This is ostentatious Pride. It allows us to be ourselves – no judgments.

There is another definition of Pride though. Pride in our ability to overcome adversity and to rise above it. Pride in our chosen families and our children’s accomplishments. Pride in our careers as nurses, accountants, executives and teachers. Pride in our family histories, traditions and ethnic foods. Pride in our fitness goals. This Pride is grown and sexy. And it allows us to walk in our truth – daily. The dictionary defines this as “justifiable self-respect;” we know it’s Pride.

Nikita Santiago