With pride festivals being cancelled all over the world, I’ve spent a lot of time whilst in lock down reflecting on a variety of things – one of those being ‘what does pride mean to me?’
Based in the North of England, I’ve been going to Manchester Pride for the majority of my twenties. Sometimes for the full weekend. Other times just for an afternoon. This year, like many other events, it’s cancelled.
And I’ve realized I’ll miss going home. Not home in the literal sense.
But home in a way that I’m where I should be. A place that’s comforting, safe, accepting and all the other feelings and emotions that a sense of home should evoke.
Pride (and it can be any Pride festival) feels like coming home to me.
A place to be surrounded by the lgbtq community.
A place to feel joy not fear.
A place to feel accepted not rejected.
A place where it doesn’t matter how I choose to present myself or what I choose to wear.
A place where holding hands with my wife doesn’t garner unwanted attention.
A place where just for a moment in time, I’m home, I’m proud, I’m accepted, and I feel a sense of belonging without doubt, fear, or anxiety.
Pride is a protest, a party, a celebration of love and also for some, a place to find peace and a feeling of home – if only for a short while.