As Life Unlimited celebrates the month of Pride, we are taking the time to highlight our LGBTQIA+ team members and individuals. Here is a writing piece from one of our team members, Carolyn, on what pride means to her.
“As a queer woman who grew up in an environment where it was expected for each person to be straight, having Pride was not always easy for me. It wasn’t even an option at times. For the longest time I was terrified to come out, scared of judgment, hate, anger, and any other negative reaction. Eventually, I had to learn that no matter what anyone thought, I had to love myself for who I am. Having Pride means more than just loving who you love, but genuinely being proud of who you are, with all of your differences. Understanding and knowing that what makes you different is what makes you the beautifully unique person that you are.
When I came out officially and publicly, I ended up getting excommunicated by the church I grew up in, which at the time was my worst nightmare. I was scared I wasn’t good enough for anyone. It was then when I realized that no matter what, I would always have a family within the LGBTQ community. I quickly met other people who were apart of the community, and they helped me realize that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me or any of us. In this community I have met some of the most loving and accepting people I will ever know.
If there is one thing I wish for others to know about having Pride, it is that the journey to self-love and acceptance is not always an easy one. There will be down falls and heart aches and hard truths to overcome, but knowing that there are people in this world who love you for who you are makes it all worth it in the end. No one is unworthy of love, no one deserves to feel guilty or ashamed for loving who they love. Having Pride means loving who you are, no matter what.”