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“What is Pride?”: A Poem

By Aiden Aizumi

Pride is love.
It is lifting each other up, standing together, crying together, celebrating together.

Pride is a revolution.
It is showing the beauty in our differences, letting our intersections shine.

Pride is anger.
It is the collective pain we feel when trans women of color are taken too soon. It is the fire in our bellies to fight for justice in their names.

Pride is a riot.
It is honoring the history of the movement. It is honoring the lives of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera who helped us pave the way. It is our continued fight to be seen as equal, valid, and respected.

Pride is resilience.
It is being told over and over that our lives are not as valuable. It is standing up again and again despite acts of violence, anti LGBTQ laws, lack of healthcare, job discrimination, and housing discrimnation.

Pride is hope.
Hope that we continue to overcome. Hope for tomorrow. Hope that one day, our lives as LGBTQ+ people will be seen for how wonderful they are.

Pride is power.
It is knowing our stories, experiences, and lives are powerful tools in changing the world.

Pride is visibility.
It is a true representation of the LGBTQ+ community. It is inclusive. It is diverse. It is not white centered.

Pride is solidarity.
It is standing up, and speaking out against racism. It is a call to stand with Black Lives Matter and all struggles against racism.

Pride is expression.
It is strutting down the street, feeling fine and looking fabulous. It is freedom to live and exist just as we are because who we are is beautiful.

Pride is me.
It is waking up everyday to face the world authentically as a queer, trans, Japanese American man. It is holding true to myself. It is being visible for the next generation of LGBTQ+ folks. It is honoring where we have been, and knowing how much further we need to go, and hoping my story, voice, life, will somehow contribute to that progress.

Aiden Aizumi is an alum (Los Angeles ’11).

This piece is part of Public Allies’ campaign to highlight voices of LGBTQ+ members, alumni, staff, and partners throughout Pride Month.