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Happy Pride Month 2021!

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

What Does Pride Mean to Us?

The year, the GCLS Writing Academy instructors, mentors, guest speakers, and graduates to give us a brief statement on what pride means to them. We’re loving the answers and we wanted to add one of our own.

To the Writing Academy, pride means giving LGBTQI+ people the tools to share their voices with the world through writing novels, short stories, poetry, and even blog posts.

Liz the Dreamer

Pride month means a time to remember that I am happy and whole as a person. It’s an opportunity to embrace the unique biome that is me, and to enjoy time with others who make it feel like I am seen and heard. No shame, just love.


Pride to me is a sense of worth individually and as a community – that as queer people of all gender and sexual identities, races, abilities, ethnicities, and expressions – we matter. When we celebrate Pride we are saying we have the right to be visible, valued, included, and recognized in every facet of society and to have those rights protected.

Michele Reynolds

Pride is being happy and secure with who I am, sharing all of who I am in all aspects of my life and supporting others who are struggling with their identity. I’m out and proud in my Episcopal Church and determined to advertise, to others who identify as LGBTQIA, that I have a safe and welcoming place to worship.

Salem West

Pride is powerful. Pride is about inclusion and celebrating diversity, difference, and honesty. Pride makes me stronger. Pride gives me truth. Pride is healthcare and self-care. Pride is having a home, and pride is having ambition; it’s a way to make contact with our best selves, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s most authentic self. Pride flies on the wings of angels. Pride delivers us from evil. Pride is powerful.

Feri Tyler

For me Pride represents our ability to be open and honest about who we are out in the world regardless of who sees. It’s a right of passage for the “baby” gays, a badge of honor recognizing the sacrifices of our fore-family and a way of bringing all of us together in celebration- regardless of label. I was taken to my first Pride by folks that I love. I took my wife to her first Pride. I giggled hard when “fam” spotted my kids dancing through the streets discovering their first Pride. For me Pride equals family, Happy Pride!!!

Georgia Beers

For me, pride means not hesitating, being completely honest when somebody asks me what I write. I used to (and sometimes still will) lead with, “I write romance,” until I get the lay of the land, so to speak. But pride is coming right out with, “I write romance between women.” And owning it.

Gar McVey-Russel

What does pride mean to me? To me, it has always meant the freedom to feel comfortable in my own skin. For so long, I lived in denial about my sexuality. Had it continued indefinitely, who knows what sort of neuroses I would have developed. Even though I’ve been out for 33 years now, I can still feel a glimmer of the euphoria I felt when at that time. ACT UP, writing for UCLA’s queer news journal, marching in the parade. An old friend from grade school saw me marching once; she was filming the parade and I was in the ACT UP contingent. When we saw each other, we both jumped up and down in total exuberance. Sadly, I’ve not seen her since, but that moment will always live with me. Closets are for clothes.

Karelia Stetz-Waters

When I celebrate Pride, I celebrate all the challenges I’ve overcome and the queer community has overcome. I celebrate our beautiful, triumphant lives.

What does pride mean to you? Share with us in the comments or drop us a line on Twitter.

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