Pride month just passed me by – all those rainbow flags, rainbow things and rainbow people! There was probably some Pride event going on somewhere on this planet on my birthday, June 11th, where I could’ve met some cute guy and get luck or something. But here I am, back at home in my third world country confronting covert homophobic attacks against me. Despite the fact that I could not go out in public and celebrate Pride in person, I wouldn’t say that I couldn’t or didn’t celebrate at all. How I celebrated my first Pride month: I blogged! And I’m proud of it.
Recently, I got into a quarrel with another Burmese because of the different ways we define “pride”. Pride can go 2 ways, as far as I can tell. You either unnecessarily think highly of yourself or embrace your identity and your existance and you celebrate. I was going with the latter while the other guy was going with the former. Also, I get into disagreements with my Grandma often because she believes I think very highly of myself, that I have an attitude, when I say, “I am proud of myself.” So, um, everybody who could go out, look fleshy and parade in the name of love, equality and justice, I’m seriously jello!
Actually, this post is to take a moment to say that I’m proud I ever started this blog. I intended this to be an open-book journal of my personal life, and it is. It’s not getting very many hits – and you can see it by the number of comments on the posts – but I’m letting out a voice (a very loud one, indeed) and reaching out to people in little bits. And gay issues are not just for or about gay people. It’s about oppression, resistance and emancipation of minorities – people having to hide who they are because they are different or because other parties despise them, how they have to tolerate their aggressors and fight for freedom and equality. Come to think of it, it’s no surprise that I have come to identify with feminist students, black students and other students from minority ethnic and religious backgrounds during my freshman year at college. I am proud to have come to known them. I am glad that I have people I can relate to and that I am one of them. We all have had those me-against-the-world moments. We are, in many ways, a family!
Since, starting my blog – I have had people come out to me, share stories about contemplating suicide and tell tales of personal struggles in other areas of life. Life is a struggle and it gets harder when you are a minority or when there is a lot piling up against you. The best way you can reach out to others is by accepting who you are, being non-relenting in what you have to do and letting out a loud clear voice that, if people who can relate to you hear, they’d run to you to provide help. And you, ethically, should run to help others when they let out that loud message also. This blog is a digital manifestation of those ideals of mine. Speak out, be proud and loud about it! And also, be ready to help others wherever and whenever you can. That is celebrating who you are, that is PRIDE!