Why I Volunteered for Pride

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I am proud to be volunteering for Pride Parade here in Halifax next weekend. To be honest I was initially kind of on the fence about whether to take the time to attend the training, look up how I could volunteer and then actually GO! But I have been persuaded, and I’ll explain how.

First of all, I have some interest in working towards rights for all people, LGBTQ community included. My work around sexuality and about finding our authentic and empowered self, aligns beautifully with the message that Pride puts forward.

Second of all, I had to watch a couple of movies for a course I was doing, and they affected me very deeply. One was called ‘Prayers for Bobby’ about a Gay boy who grows up in a very religious family, and ends up committing suicide when his family, especially his mother can’t accept his sexuality. Sigourney Weaver plays the role of the mother, and she does a stunning job of portraying the transformation of understanding and mindset that someone in that position has to go through in order to make peace with themselves and their choices.

From the guilt of knowing that her rigid attitudes toward sexuality as taught through her religion, to the love and acceptance she came to after her son’s death. It was based on a true story, and the family ended up being united in their support for Gay and lesbian rights.

I had to open my eyes and notice that things have shifted a lot in the past few decades but the truth is, even now, we have a long way to go towards true acceptance and integration of ALL people.

We, as human beings have an innate fear of ‘other’, something that we don’t relate to or feel connected with. It is also interesting to flip this thought and realize most of us are desperately trying to find our tribe so we don’t feel so isolated and alone. In this hunt for our people, we continually judge whether someone we meet is ‘like’ us or ‘not like’ us, and whether we belong to the same tribe.

In particular the cultural teachings for millennia against women’s rights has fueled this hatred for Gay men in particular. They are the ultimate betrayers of the patriarchy. I mean, how could a man let himself be treated as a woman? Women are to be despised, and if you are lucky enough to be born into a male body, the last thing you should want would be to associate yourself with any feminine qualities.

In the same way, lesbian women defy the need for a man in an intimate relationship, and therefore undermine the power that men have held in society for hundreds of years.

Fear makes people do terrible things to each other. Underneath our fear is a deep seated need to belong. What would it take for us to take ownership of this need? If we realized our own worthiness, and our divine right to be loved unconditionally. If we took responsibility for learning to love ourselves enough that we could look at other people and find our similarities, not only our differences.

So this train of thought brings me back to why I feel called to volunteer with Pride. In supporting the idea that all people, no matter their gender, sexuality, race, background, education, any of it,  are worthy of love and acceptance, I am fulfilling my personal mission of empowerment of the true masculine and feminine qualities and the triumph of love over hatred.

Whether you actively support LGBTQ rights, or you just look at your own beliefs and feelings around where you ‘belong’ and how to feel loved more and threatened less, YOU make a difference.

We all have choice around how we spend our time and energy. My choice this week is to spend time and energy supporting inclusiveness and love.

What’s your choice?

Let’s find our connection,

Ailsa