Where I live, city hall put up the rainbow flag for the first time ever this week. How times have changed.
Back in 1997, the mayor of this same city refused to declare Gay Pride Day. He was willing to announce Lesbian and Gay Day, but his feeling was there was nothing to be proud about. That was enough to unleash the hounds, and the human rights tribunal found him in violation.
So what exactly is pride – and why do some fear it while others embrace it?
From a traditional standpoint, pride is, after all, the number one hit on the Seven Deadly Sins chart. The poet Dante described it as “love of self perverted to hatred and contempt for one’s neighbour.” That’s pride holding hands with its partner judgment.
But there’s another side to pride. It’s that sense of self that allows us to expand and grow. True pride is strictly an inside job. It’s never about the external, or what others think. Instead, it’s an acknowledgement of a journey. In order to feel proud of ourselves, it requires that we recognize all the hateful slings and arrows we so often aim at ourselves and then, rather than aim these same arrows at others, we can allow our higher selves to simply let them fall to the ground.
It’s in that moment that we stand tall. It’s in that moment that the true light that shines from within reveals itself.
We know we have pride when we feel joy; when we can celebrate that inner self and dance with it.
Because this life thing is a dance – with all its swings and twists and turns.
Like the flag that went up on city hall, rise up! The world needs you. All of you.