Pride is more than just a month-long festivity that I, along with the entire LGBTQ+ community and our allies, observe annually during June. It is a daily celebration of our diversity, strength, and triumphs.
We also take a moment to mourn our fallen brothers and sisters whose lives were taken away by the hands of bigotry and hate. As a community, we have come a long way to step out of the shadows and to reveal our existence to the general public.
Our fight continues due to the daily persistence of senseless violence. As an individual, I have come a long way in my most difficult odyssey to self-love and acceptance. I was destined to shine in the endless darkness. The unrealistic expectations could have changed the course of my fate if I chose to conform.
It was only when I accepted the truth about myself that I felt the strength to break free from my chains. Nothing good is ever born out of lies. I never chose to be gay – I chose to be me. I have no reason to be ashamed. Nobody has the right to make me feel inferior without my consent.
Happy Pride Month!!!
Kimmy Saeedi, Columbia, MD, USA