If you’ve got pride and you know it, clap your hands.
Clapping yet? No? Perhaps I should define the word pride for you. According to dictionary.com, pride is a “dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one’s position or character; self-respect; self-esteem,” or knowledge of “one’s own dignity.”
As you can see, loyal reader, pride is a very important thing. I really hope you have self-respect and self-esteem. I really hope you have knowledge of your own dignity. I really hope you’ve got pride, that you’re clapping now. But it’s okay if you’re not. Because sometimes we live in a world that tells people they aren’t worthy of self-respect and self-esteem. Sometimes our world is terribly mean, and sometimes we tell people that they aren’t good enough, or don’t deserve to believe they are good enough, because they are different.
I want to go back to dictionary.com again. Different. Adjective. “Not identical.”
I don’t know if anyone ever told you this, beautiful reader, but it is ok to be different. It is ok to like weird colors of green, or not match your clothes, or to not eat salad dressing. It’s also ok to be gay. It’s ok to be almost everything in the world except for mean. So be yourself even if you feel hesitant instead of strong.
Be anything, just please don’t be a mean one.
Oh reader. Reader, can you hear me now? If you’ve got pride, please clap your hands. Whoever you are, wherever you’re from, whether or not you want to go back to that place, whether or not you have a place to go back to. Oh reader, with your smiles and iffy jokes and starlight conversations, with your inner beauty and strength, I hope you can clap because you’re human. Because you’re worthy. Because you’re figuring out that it’s ok to be yourself, dear reader. You’re worthy because of, not despite of, everything you are.
So if you’ve got pride and you know it, clap your hands.
And if you don’t? If you still don’t? If you still don’t and since because we’re talking about Pride Week….well, dear reader, anywhere there’s a rainbow safezone sticker is a Very Safe Place. This includes places like the OU Women’s Center (4th floor Baker), the OU LGBT Center (3rd floor Baker), and UCM: Center for Spiritual Growth and Social Justice (18 N. College Street). And anyone with a safezone pin on their bag (this includes me–my email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d ever like to chat) or a rainbow ribbon, is probably a good bet as well.
If you’ve got pride and you know it, clap your hands. If you think rainbows are really pretty, clap again.