Rob Kim/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Here's What Pride Month Means To These 5 LGBTQ+ People In 2018

By

There is something endlessly magical about Pride Month. The energy is palpable, city streets become a million times more colorful, and hundreds of thousands of people across the world turn up to celebrate individuality, acceptance, and love (with fabulous parades and a whole lot of rainbow attire). It's such a joyous, vibrant time — and that's just my perspective as a cisgender straight woman. I can only imagine what Pride Month means and represents to members of the LGBTQ+ community.

After asking five queer men and women what Pride Month means to them, I've fallen even more in love with this glorious time of the year. Each of these beautiful humans speaks about feeling embraced, accepted, and finding a sense of community during Pride, which has my heart bursting at the seams.

But this isn't really about me now, is it? No, this is about the experiences and emotions of members of the LGBTQ+ community. So, without further adieu, here's what five queer individuals had to say when asked what makes Pride such a special event for them.

(PS: To anyone reading whose town isn't hosting massive, street-wide parties and pride parades, just know that there are so, so many people across the world who love and accept you just as you are!)

It's all about visibility and getting to feel those feels.

Giphy
It's a month that's all about visibility, which means the world to me to see the queer community loud and proud. Before I was out but knew I was queer, Pride Month was something I looked at and longed to be part of, but still felt such immense joy that it was a thing, even though I didn't feel myself as *part* of the community quite yet. Last year, I attended my first Pride Parade, and the positive energy and overflowing of love almost made me cry.

—Elana, 24

It feels like Christmas (but better!).

Giphy
Pride is my favorite time of year. Everyone is so chill and so friendly and so loving. It's just a time that we all get to dance in the streets. My gay friends come, my straight friends come, and we all just party and celebrate love and show that we're #ProudToBe us. It's like my Christmas.

—John, 22

It's a reminder that you're part of something bigger.

Giphy
For me, Pride Month is just this massive reminder that you're part of something that's bigger than yourself. Like there are so many people who had to fight for the right for us to love whoever the f*ck we want and Pride is this time for all of to come together and celebrate that fact. Your skin tone, age, whatever don't even matter. We all get to celebrate being our own unique selves while also celebrating that we're part of this great community and never alone.

—Meghan, 23

It's a chance to be unapologetically yourself.

Giphy
Before I came out, I really resented Pride parades and stuff. I think I was jealous of people who were so unapologetically themselves that they were literally screaming in the streets about how proud they were to be LGBTQ+
After one of my friends asked me to go to a Pride event a few years ago, though, I started to rethink all of that. I felt inspired (I don't even know if I would have come out when I did if I hadn't gone to the parade that day). And now, three years later, Pride reminds me that I'm allowed to scream about how proud I am to be me.

—Travis*, 26

It's groundbreaking.

Giphy
Stephen Fry produced a fascinating documentary about homosexuality around the globe a few years ago. At one point he began crying at a Pride Parade simply because he couldn't imagine such a public display of [LGBTQ+] pride taking place when he was young. They existed then to make people aware of the human face of homosexuality and stand up in the face of widespread intolerance. They exist now to prove just how far society has come since those days. Nowadays it could be easy to lose sight of just how groundbreaking these displays are simply because they happen so frequently.

/u/Alligorator

It really is the most wonderful time of the year! Happy Pride, everyone.

*Names have been changes. Quotes have been edited and condensed for clarity.