It’s Pride month and there are so many truly incredible inspirational stories of people embracing who they are after years of suppressing it to please others, and allies who will be there when others fall be the wayside.
Unfortunately, there is also an increase in those who see it as their role to condemn and judge those individuals, so stuck in their own interpretation of the world they simply cannot accept anything that goes outside those lines.
Why do you feel able to dictate how others live? What harm can be done to you directly by someone else living their truth? Them being themselves cannot possibly hurt you. I get that you don’t necessarily agree or don’t feel tempted to join in with the celebrations, but what is it about that level of freedom that scares you so much?
Living true to yourself takes a huge amount of courage, not just because you will potentially change your most meaningful relationships (and in some cases, lose them completely through rejection) but you also have to deal with complete strangers trying to tell you that they won’t accept you unless you confirm to who they want you to be. Why do they feel like their opinion matters so much?
I’ve been living guilt free for a while now and the biggest struggle is to maintain who I am in the face of those who want me to conform or change who I am so that it makes them feel more comfortable. When I see those celebrating their freedom to express themselves during Pride month, I celebrate with them – because to truly be yourself is the greatest challenge you ever face in a society where keeping within the carefully drawn lines is the difference between inclusion and exclusion. For those celebrating Pride, it is also the difference between living your life with or without the risk of physical and psychological harm.