Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pride Week provides people with freedom

By Alyssa Fountain, Columnist
Pride. It has different meanings in different places at different times.

Last week was Gay Pride Week at Pacific Lutheran University.

From rainbows and face painting in the Anderson University Center to making tie-dye shirts, color lit up PLU to celebrate queer students.

We all have pride, but it is not always shown the same way throughout the world.

Where I was in Uganda, pride in a person’s sexuality came through different means.

At male and female coming of age ceremonies, people embraced their sexuality and worked to become adults in the society.

Their pride was in following the traditions of old.

I went to Germany when I was 16, and that was the first time I came across gay pride. My mom and I were walking down the road, and we found what looked like a street fair.

However, we finally figured out with the help of sculptures and the interestingly dressed people — men in blue skin-tight sequined suits with feather plumes for example — that it was a gay pride festival.

We watched as thousands of people lined the streets, proclaiming their sexuality.

There was something liberating about watching so many people embrace who they were.

Sometimes we are not free to share our pride. In Uganda, being a homosexual can have severe ramifications, so it is kept hidden.

It amazes me to no end to see people here celebrating something that is so disguised in Uganda.

I love watching the queer couples on campus, and seeing that they enjoy things the same way straight couples do.

I think pride goes hand in hand with love. If we love our neighbors as ourselves, then we will embrace each other’s pride, be it in traditions or in breaking the boundaries and pushing forward.

We will all take pride in our orientation, in our choices and in the things we are born with.

I take pride in the fact that I am a Christian girl who is saving herself for marriage.

We all need to have pride, and we all need to love each other for our pride.

I commend everyone who stepped forward this week and maybe came out to someone, even if it was just one person, whispered in secret.

I love the people who are embracing who they are.

PLU provides a place where we can all take pride in who we are.

We can take pride in what unites us.

We can take pride in the fact we are Lutes.

We can take pride in the fact that we are all friendly to each other.

We can take pride in our love for one another.