Pride Month is 30 days long, but the energy and inspiration we gain from it can last all year. Here, then, are some of the things I hope we LGBT parents can all experience during this season of rainbows to sustain us in times to come.
Advocacy: Pride started as a protest, so let’s make sure to capture some of that spirit again. Whether it’s carrying a sign in a parade, calling an elected official, or collecting signatures for a cause, let’s advocate for ourselves and our children.
Bravery: Because being ourselves takes courage every day.
Community: Pride is rooted in community, in people coming together over a common cause because they care about each other. Our LGBT community also overlaps with other communities of which we are part and which nourish other parts of us. Let us be thankful for all of them.
Dancing: Even if it’s by yourself. Feel the music, literal or figurative, and let it move you.
Emotion: Pride is both event and emotion. Let us not forget to feel it, no matter how else we celebrate.
Friends: Community is grand, but it is the closer bonds of friendship that help knit it together.
Glitter: Not everything needs to have a reason. Sometimes it’s enough just to sparkle.
History: Yes, we have a whole separate month dedicated to LGBT history, but there’s no reason to confine the recognition of our past to October. Pride has its origins in a specific historic event and the movement around it. That’s worth knowing and celebrating even as we head into the future.
Intersectionality: All our identities are plural. Let us honor the ways in which they intersect and blend to make each of us who we are.
Joy: May we all find joy, in our families, our friends, and the communities of which we are part.
Kids: May we engage our children in the delight of Pride, whether this means taking them to a march, explaining why we celebrate, or (if they are too young for that), festooning their strollers with rainbows.
Learning: Let us use the occasion to learn something new about an aspect of our community, the history of Pride, or about another person in our lives.
Meaning: Pride has many meanings. Unchecked, it can lead to hubris; harnessed, it may give a person needed self-confidence. We may feel pride in ourselves, our children, our community, or others. Whatever its meaning for us, may we also acknowledge the meanings it may have for others and the things in which they take pride.
Naps: All this celebration can be tiring. Let us give ourselves time to rest and recharge, too. (And may those of us with young children get them to sleep when they should.)
Openness: May Pride inspire us to live our truths, or to take steps towards being able to do so.
Patience: A virtue, yes, and a vital ingredient of raising children as well as achieving other goals. It should not be confused with simply waiting for things to happen, however; sometimes, patience means being willing to take repeated action.
Queerness: Yes, some of us may have moved to the “burbs and put up the picket fence,” but let us not forget the counter-culture overtones of “queer.” Let’s remember it’s okay to march to our own drummers at least once in a while. Being accepted doesn’t always mean fitting in.
Resourcefulness: As LGBT parents, we have long found ways to be resourceful—protecting our families with what legal ties we could, say, or by writing our own books that showed families like ours. May that spirit continue to inform us.
Sunshine: Because no one likes a rainy parade—but if we get one, may we find sunshine in our hearts.
Transformation: Whether it be coming out, transitioning, finding a new job, or starting a new relationship, life is an ever-changing series of metamorphoses. May we allow ourselves to change and be sympathetic to others who are changing or struggling to do so.
Understanding: May we have it for others even as we help them understand who we are.
Victory: Over the laundry; over our kids’ bedtimes; or over bias and political challenges. May we also remember that victory doesn’t always mean someone else has to lose.
Wonder: Sometimes it pays just to step back and marvel: at our children, our significant others, or the progress our community has made over the past decades despite recent setbacks.
eXcitement: (Cut me some slack, here. It was either this or Xylophones.) Pride should be exciting. Life should be exciting. Not every moment, perhaps (see above under “N”), but enough to give us that spark to keep going.
Youth: Regardless of the age of our own kids, may we take pride in the awesomeness of today’s LGBT youth and youth with LGBT parents. Many are out and proud about themselves and their families in ways we adults could only dream of. And many are standing up and speaking out on causes from LGBT equality to gun control. I think the future is in good hands.
Zeal: May we seize the day, the month, and the whole year. May our enthusiasm for our families propel us into new and joyous discoveries.
Wherever and however you celebrate Pride, may it be a happy and moving one for you and your family.
Dana Rudolph is the founder and publisher of Mombian (mombian.com), a GLAAD Media Award-winning blog and resource directory for LGBTQ parents.