If you attended any of the Pride events in San Diego, you have to admit that it was a pretty amazing weekend.
It just felt more exciting. The energy and enthusiasm just seemed at a higher level, probably because of the amazing events of the past few weeks — the Supreme Court overturning DOMA, and Proposition 8 being buried for the last time in California. I saw many same sex couples wearing “Just Married” T-shirts, which was just plain awesome.
But by now, Marston Point (fondly referred to by some of us locals as “fruit loop”) has been cleaned up, the booths have been taken down and put away, and the volunteers and attendees (hopefully) got at least one good night’s sleep after all the festivities.
One of the groups marching in the parade wore T-shirts which read, “Pride Begins With Me.” That is a very important message for us.
Many of us spent a good portion of our lives waiting for someone else’s approval, so we could approve of ourselves. That is a dangerous way to live, because we almost never get the approval we are looking for. So that feeling of acceptance, worthiness and even pride has to start with us.
It’s more than marching in parades and having rainbow bumper stickers on our cars. Pride has to do with the choices we make each day, because how we treat ourselves, and what we accept (or refuse to accept), reflect what we believe, and feel, about ourselves.
I was talking with a friend of mine a couple of weeks ago about the “new” experience of same-gender marriage in California. She related a story about her lesbian friends who were getting married, and how some close family members refused to attend the ceremony.
It is important for us in the LGBT community to remember that while this movement to marriage equality has been top-of-mind for us, it has just been background news items for many straight people in our lives. They may welcome and embrace the concept, and want to be fully involved on our special day, and they may not. If they don’t, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t love or approve of us — they are just not ready to make this change in their thinking. You have to admit that this is a pretty big change from how it always has been. But the point is that we have to make it OK, and not allow someone else’s opinion, and lack of approval, to affect our experience.
Pride begins with you, in the recognition that you have the right, and really the responsibility, to know and feel what is true for you, and what is not. In planning for a wedding, and in every moment of your life. After all, your life means what you say it means.
Take care of yourself.
The Rev. Jerry Troyer, a native of San Diego, is the senior minister of Joyful Living Church, a non-denominational New Thought spiritual community. He is the author of the new book, “Coming Out To Ourselves … Admitting, Accepting And Embracing Who We Truly Are. Troyer and his husband, also named Jerry, live in the San Diego area with their golden retriever Roxie. Visit his website HERE.