iMentor Student Voices Welcome Pride Month: What does Pride Mean to You?

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the #BlackLivesMatter protests taking place across the country, we underscore the need for social change and share a desire to celebrate diverse identities.

As June rings in Pride Month 2020, the work of activists like Marsha P. Johnson, a key figure in the Stonewall uprising who fought for LGBTQ rights, emphasizes the importance of intersectionality among identity movements. Though last year marked the 50th anniversary of the 1969 event, U.S federal legislation still offers no broad protections for transgender individuals.

At the same time, support for gay rights has grown, and in 2015 same-sex marriage was legalized by the U.S. Supreme Court.

While we cannot celebrate Pride Month in person, we wanted to mark the occasion by republishing this blog post in which iMentor students answer this question: What does pride mean to you?

Maribel Tale
International High School at Lafayette
12th Grade

Pride means to me that we should all be respectful, no matter what our sexual orientation is. We should feel accepted and no one should feel judged for their preferences. The LGBT movement is one meant to fight the injustices around us.

Georgina Chavez
The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology
Graduate Class of 2019

When thinking about pride, I think of a community of people coming together to celebrate one love. A love that unites people from different genders and races. The word “pride” means freedom to those who have struggled in making their love equal. “One love” is a phrase so powerful for those who struggle in creating a change.

Angel Arias
Bronx High School for Law & Community Service
12th Grade

Pride, to me, is empowerment. Discovering my identity took a long time, though I am grateful that I’ve found myself in a time shorter than my peers. When I first realized I was pansexual, the first thing I felt was fear. I was afraid I’d be disowned, my friends would hate me, and I’d be bullied at school. I did struggle to be accepted by my family, but my friends supported me. For the next few years I was confident and felt elated when my mom finally took me to the parade last year. Months after, I came out as trans, and I was stuck in that same place all over again. My friends adjusted quicker than my family, but not everyone was as accepting of my gender as they were with my sexuality. To be honest, I’m okay with that. As the 50th anniversary of the riots approaches, I’ve never felt so proud to be a part of such a loving and understanding community. I’m proud to be pan. I’m proud to be trans. I’m proud to be me, discrimination and all. Even if I can’t embrace my full self just yet, and even if the odds are stacked against me, Pride Month is a part of who I am and those who come before. Don’t like it? Too bad. It’s not your life. It’s mine, and I’m living it to the fullest.

Tsvetelin Tsvetkov
Marble Hill School for International Studies
12th Grade

For me, pride means being happy with who you are. Nothing more, nothing less.

Elijah Rosario
Business of Sports School
Class of 2019

Pride means equality. I believe that you can define it as whatever you want, as long as you respect the sexuality of others.

Raiangel Valdez
Business of Sports School
11th Grade

Pride means freedom. Pride helps us keep our head high for anything that comes our way. Pride is always a part of us. 

Garry Williams
Bronx Academy for Software Engineering
Class of 2019

Pride means having liberty with what you say or do and feeling passionate about it. Having pride is a platform for yourself to stand up for what you believe in.

Tresor Jackson
The Young Women’s Leadership School of Brooklyn
Class of 2019

Pride, to me, means not being afraid to show and be who you are. Forgetting about what makes others happy and doing what makes you happy. Pride means you being you, no matter what others say. Period.

Allison Chavez
Union Square Academy for Health Sciences
Class of 2019

Pride means freedom to me and the definition of equality. Bring able to be yourself around anyone without being judged by anyone and, most importantly, not being mistreated, is the meaning of pride. 

Learn more about the Student Advisory Council for iMentor NYC.