To me Pride means family. Growing up I never questioned anyone on their sexual orientations. When I was about 13 is when I realized our family was “different” I had never really thought about the fact that my Grandmother was a Lesbian or that some of my mom’s friends were Lesbian and Gay.
I didn’t have the words for it as a child I just knew people who love each other kiss whether they were male or female. It never even crossed my mind that it was something that people were hated for because how can you hate love? That is redundant and absurd. When I was about 13 a friend told me Grandma looked like a man I told them what’s what and where they could go. They whispered to other kids that my grandmother kissed women, of course, I knew that and saw nothing wrong with it but they did. I got into many arguments over the fact that I saw nothing wrong with it. When I was about 18 my Grandmother wrote me a very heartfelt letter about her being a lesbian and that she felt that because I had gay and lesbian friends that she needed to finally come out of the closet to me. I laughed and said well duh Grandma I have met your girlfriends that’s the worst kept secret. My grandmother didn’t get to experience the first Pride Festival in Huntington WV but attended many first Pride events and fought hard so that we could have Pride events and for the lgbtq community to be accepted and protected under the law. When my grandmother came out not only was it a jailable offense to be gay it was considered a mental disorder. So in honor of my family, I went because Pride means Family.