Pride flags in Provincetown, Massachusetts, one of the largest and most famous Pride celebrations in the US.
UU Church Today, Practice & Voice, BeyondBelief


First, An Announcement.

Like every June, soon All Souls will gather everything we own with rainbows and plaster it all over our bodies and parade float to march, dance, sing, and sweat our way down Boston Avenue.  Please come join us for float building and parade time! Watch future church communications for more details.

Tulsa Pride Festival organized by Oklahomans for Equality will be from Friday, June 23rd to Sunday, June 25th with events at Guthrie Green and Dennis R. Neill Equality Center. More information on the festival can be found at Oklahomans for Equality website.

Pride Comes Before a Fall?

According to The Definition of Words, the first and most common definition of the word pride is “a feeling of self-respect and personal worth”.  We all have different relationships with the concept of pride. 

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” 

We have all heard this quote from the chapter of Proverbs in the Christian Bible, and we have likely heard it used as a weapon against someone.  As a marker for sin, human failing, and shame.  The literal opposite meaning of our most common understanding of pride.  So, if our common relationship with the concept of pride is so mixed, why do queer people revel in pride?

All Souls at Tulsa Pride 2021. Photo by Bonita James.

Why Are Queer People So Proud?

I asked some of my queer therapist siblings to share with me their relationship to the concept of pride.  Christa shared,

”I want to be intentional about letting Pride be a spiritual space… to nurture my inner queerdo pieces that were suppressed to survive.” 

For them, pride is a tool to rehabilitate their injured self-worth that is at least partly tied to how they molded themselves to survive environments that didn’t accept them wholly. 

Pride is a part of resilience.  

The elements of resilience are well researched and commonly referred to as the 7 C’s of Resilience.  Pride correlates to the C of Confidence which encourages us to believe in our ability to recover from adversity and to overcome difficult experiences.  It’s part of us becoming whole, independent, and emotionally responsible adults which many of us are not taught by our first families.  Especially, when you’re queer.

When we drown ourselves in rainbows and dance down a public street in bizarre outfits, we’re re-parenting ourselves in defiance of the patriarchal structures in which we were raised.  And maybe also bracing ourselves to throw a few bricks, someday soon.

April Starr is an All Souls member and marriage and family therapist specializing in queer-affirming practice.

Cover photo: Pride flags in Provincetown, Massachusetts, one of the largest and most famous Pride celebrations in the US. Credit: Tim Grafft/MOTT

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