Ben (he/him) NJ:
To me, Pride is a whole month of being my total self, every damn day. It’s a designated time for meeting other queers, sharing, thinking, laughing, dancing. A time, as a gay teen who came out just over 16 months ago, where I can look at myself in the mirror, smile, and say, “I know exactly who I am. Yet I am so ready to learn and question and experience so much.”
Victoria, aka V (she/they):
Pride is an unrepentant and unapologetic love for myself and my community, despite any larger ideological trends or attitudes of society. Pride in aspects of your identity that do not conform to the hegemony of the privileged is a radical, revolutionary and beautiful act. We cannot forgive or forget the violence that has been, and is being, committed to people of minority groups. With this heavy burden of a trauma to carry, we will not fall prey to the belief that progress is inevitable, it is not.
Pride is a commemoration of our history, and a promise that we will keep fighting for our right to exist. It is not enough to simply survive, we will fight until we thrive. Those in power will attempt to weaponize our vulnerabilities against us, but if we stand together, in unity and solidarity, our pride can never be snuffed out by their shame.
Rivka (they/them), NJ:
To me, pride means community. For most of my coming-out journey, I was alone. I didn’t know any queer people and lacked the support system necessary to feel confident in myself. As an Orthodox Jew, I often felt stigmatized instead of loved and I was afraid of my identity. After I joined Keshet, I finally understood the purpose of a community. With a network of love, support, and validation, I was able to start loving myself. To me, pride means community because with a community supporting me, I feel proud to be who I am.
Cara Gold (she/her), Toronto
Pride means ensuring that all 2SLGBTQ+ Jewish community members are included as the visionaries, storytellers, guides, weavers, and disrupters needed within our Jewish community context. Pride means using my position as a Queer Jewish communal leader to move this work forward. I’m proud to have launched Queer Jewish Incubator this year locally in Toronto, ONT as the first-ever Jewish 2SLGBTQ+ leadership program in Canada to advance exactly this goal.