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Do I Need To Be “Out” To Celebrate Pride?

If you’re not ready to join the parade, or just want to keep things to yourself, I promise, this month is still for you.

Unsplash | The Creative Exchange

Pride is more than a month. I know that, you know that, and the entire LGBTQIA+ community knows that. June, aka Pride Month, is a time meant to amplify feelings of reclaimed sexual identity and gender expression, as well as play homage to those that fought so hard for a more equal world. From large rainbow flags flying in the wind, to parades filled with people who’ve found happiness in themselves, it’s hard not to cheer this resilient community on.

But what if you don’t want to just support from the sidelines anymore?

If you find yourself scrolling on insta both wishing you could celebrate and feeling anxious about coming out, you’re not alone. I know first hand how intimidating Pride can be when you’re just starting out on your own journey of self discovery. The personal leaps you’ve taken to admitting who does or doesn’t sexually/romantically attract you, feel like baby steps in comparison to your peers. The reveal of beautiful—and safe—coming out stories is inspiring and disheartening at the same time. Of course you’re happy someone has reached that point in their journey, but you can’t help thinking about how you’re just—

Not there yet.

Though you know you shouldn’t, there’s a part of you that just wants to rush the whole process. You want to belong to this wonderful community so badly you leap before you’re ready. You know where that’ll lead you? With a shaky sense of self, a harder connection to your pride, and a potentially unsafe environment.

Some people can’t wait to wave their flags at every opportunity, but—and I can’t stress this enough—you don’t need to be “out” to celebrate your pride.