Every June in many major cities in the U.S., there are Gay Pride parades celebrating diversity in sexual preference. But what about other lifestyles, belief systems, and religious and ethnic groups? And why is pride and expressing it so important?

Gay Pride Parade, Washington, DC June 2011

Pride in self relates to self-esteem and how comfortable we are with ourselves. Without acceptance and support, it is very difficult to go against the flow and be different (see next post on Mystique). By promoting these differences so others can see the good and the gifts in the difference, we are benefiting ourselves as well as society. Strength through diversity. And parades are fun and a way to promote that fun, colorful, diverse, fashionable spirit for the gay community.

So, what’s next? Has the gay pride movement helped other groups gain acceptance for their identities? What other communities may have pride parades, open houses, film festivals, or other events expressing their culture in the future?

Gay Pride Parade, Washington, DC June 2011