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Proud To Be: why i'm proud to be the man that I am.

So You Tube has created a hash tag to help celebrate pride month (especially in the wake of Orlando), I thought that I would do a blog post in the spirit of the prompt as I have not had time to make a video, and I am not sure when or if I will.  However I still want to show my pride, not just as a gay man but as a person in general, as I think that all of myself sort of melds together.

I am proud to be bipolar, to have survived the darkest of days, the days where all I wanted to do was to die, to end it all, and the days where I was formulating plans on how to achieve the goal of ending my own life.  I am glad that I survived the times where I planed out what I wanted to say in a note to those I left behind, and the times I actually wrote those notes out.  I am proud that I made it through the highs as well, the times I felt like I was on top of the world only for it to devolve into feeling out of control as a million thoughts a minute raced through my mind.  I am proud that I survived, and that I got the treatment that I needed, an that today I live a much more normal life.  I am proud of winning that fight.

I am proud to be going to college for the first time at the age of 29. To being working pretty much full time to fund it, but still finding the time to do what it takes to do a good job in my classes.  I am proud that even though it is later in life them most people start this journey, I have made the leap. That I no longer let my past and my inhibitions hold me back any longer.

I am also extremely proud to be gay.  I am proud that I did not let the haters in high school, the ones who constantly harassed me and made me feel like a freak, and like I was broken and could never be loved win.  I am proud that at the end of my senior year I started to allow myself to explore what it meant to be gay, and to come out to my best friend as such.  I am proud that shortly after I graduated I found my first boyfriend and had my first romantic relationship.  I am proud that I came out to my family shortly thereafter, and then at work as well.  I am proud that after I came out I started on the process of unpacking all the internalized homophobia that held me back, and that still made me in many ways hate myself. I am proud that I became active in the fight for the right to marry, and that I became an advocate for equal rights for the LGBT community.  That in the ways that I had and have at my disposal I no longer hide in the back ground, in the closet while others debated my rights, and whether or not I should be a second class citizen.  I am proud that no one and nothing can ever make me go back into the closet.  I am proud to be an out gay man, to live as my authentic self, no matter what any one else says or thinks.  I am proud that I wont let hate win, that I will do everything that I can instead to insure that love wins out, no matter how long it takes.

I am proud to show myself the love that I deserve, that no matter what hate others may throw at me, they can never undue that love. I am proud that instead of cowering in the face of hate that I meet it head on, not with hate but with love, as hate never ends hate it only foster more hatred; the only thing that ends hate is love: even if it takes a while.  I am proud to not have given up my faith, I am proud to call myself a gay Christian. To be able to say that my sexuality and all the reflection and prospective's it has brought to my life have only strengthened my faith, and my moral bedrocks. I'm proud that instead of letting my struggles as a gay man (and teen) brake me and make me bitter and jaded, instead I used it to make me stronger, to make me overcome.  That I allowed it to let me better understand those that are marginalized by society, and are treated unfairly. I am proud of the man that I have become, and a big part of becoming that man involved the experience of being gay.  I am proud to say that I will never let any one take this pride from me, no matter what.

reply in the comments about what makes you proud.


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