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Pride Starts With Self by Briann January

For me pride starts with self. It is being comfortable in my own skin. Being confident in who I am and what I have to offer. It’s being proud of who I was, who I am, and who I’m becoming. It’s not only accepting my flaws and imperfections but celebrating them as well. It’s loving myself fiercely and unconditionally. In loving myself I broaden my capacity to love others and to love them authentically.

Throughout my journey it wasn’t always easy for me to accept myself but I am so fortunate and grateful that I had friends, family and allies who supported me completely and loved me during the times I felt lost or unsure.  I have learned so much by reflecting on my own journey with grace and understanding which is why I know how important it is for people in the LGBTQ+ community to have visible role models and an environment where they not only feel safe but seen. My goal is to create that type of environment no matter where I am or who I am around. I want people to be inspired and to know they can have, be, and do whatever they want as their authentic selves.

Living life authentically shouldn’t be a privilege, it should be a right. Authenticity means doing what makes me happy. Following what feels good and giving myself permission to be wholly and unapologetically me in every area of my life. By loving myself, my life and those in it I am living my pride everyday, and I hope it gives other people permission and courage to do the same.