June 8, 2015

Pride 2015: Why I'm Proud To Be Gay

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are greedy.

That's why our pride flag has so many colors. We want it all and we won't settle for anything less!

Well, technically, we've been settling for less for a majority of human history, but things are changing for the better. My biggest concern at the moment is that I'm unable to tell if handsome dudes in the Financial District are gay or straight.

Would it be inappropriate to propose that all people must wear their Kinsey scale ranking like a badge of honor?

What a terrible life I endure as a gay, white Millennial living in New York City.

But, in all seriousness, it makes me think: Why am I proud to be part of the LGBT community? Why am I proud to be gay?

Outside of being LGBT, you hear it a lot, especially on social media:

"I'm proud to be an American."

"I'm proud to be black."

"I'm proud to be a woman."

Again, why? On the flip side, it would typically be deemed inappropriate or bad taste for me to say that I'm proud to be white and male. I am proud of those attributes, but let me explain: I am proud of my mixed Caucasian ancestry - German, Irish, English, and so on - and how my ancestors came together in the United States.

I'm an American mutt, and I appreciate the struggles and roadblocks of my family since this country was founded.

I am proud that I stand up and advocate for the black, Hispanic and Asian people in my community. I am proud that I stand up and support women. I'm proud that I don't float along through life with a biased and ignorant mentality.

Thus, this is the reason why I am proud to be gay.

Being part of the LGBT community has allowed me to not only advocate for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals in the United States and beyond, but it opened my eyes to the issues and concerns of various minority groups.

Sure, it made me apprehensive at times to advocate and assist individuals who were potentially hostile towards gay people.

When I was building huts in Trenchtown, Jamaica during one summer in college, it made me a little uneasy that, statistically, I was building a new home for a homophobic individual or family. Human rights groups consistently rate Jamaica as one of the most violent and homophobic places on Earth.

I thought there was a correlation between heavy marijuana use and open-mindedness, but I guess not.

This June, similar to every other month, I am proud to be gay. I'm proud to be from Buffalo, New York - one of the most beautiful cities in the country - and I'm proud of my home in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

If you're part of the LGBT community and attending events this month, take a moment to reflect; are you proud because you're simply part of this group, or are you actually participating and pushing the human race forward?