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On this Pride Eve 2012 I figure I’ll take my music blog into divergent territory and get you thinking about your own sources of Pride whether you’re gay or straight. I’m looking at Pride from the same angle this year as I normally view Thanksgiving, except this year I’m going to thank myself for my accomplishments the way I give thanks for the good things that flow into my life from the outside world on Thanksgiving. It’s important that we all thank ourselves from time to time for all the things we do in life.

Historically beginning as a self-affirmation in the face of the hardships that go along with gay life, Pride has become a celebration of our gained acceptance and recognition for our overall character as human beings. For me personally, Pride means I’ve placed this aspect of my own life into perspective alongside the taking of other life choices into my own hands, building upon the inner strength I gathered during my own coming-out process. Most notably, I’ve taken the monstrous leap of turning my love of music and music-making from a hobby and huge time-suck into a bona fide career option. Through this endeavor I’ve tapped into yet another huge source of inner strength and fuel for further personal development; a vicious cycle of the best possible kind. It has put me into the category of people who take the power others have over them for forty hours per week and claiming that power as mine and mine alone.

I make my music because I’m proud of it. I want to make music that I know I would enjoy if I heard it being played by someone else. I set the bar this high because the Pride I gain from the end result self-perpetuates and pushes me to accomplish yet more things to be proud of. Indeed, Pride is power!

Pride took me from my beginnings as a shy, silly, thin-skinned child through a tragic and near-deadly accident in my teens, through my transition into a lifestyle I knew others would be critical of, through some failed relationships, through years of work at jobs I didn’t go to school for yet did because I had to, through the process of learning music-making, through the process of sharing my love of music in front of an audience, and to the point where I feel ready to step into uncharted territory in the second half of my life through all the stages of self-reinvention yet again. Pride is a very close cousin to self-respect and the two go hand-in-hand. Pride without self-respect leads to arrogance, not dignity. And there were hard lessons learned along the way through each of these life-chapters that kept me humble when it would have been easy to become arrogant.

Pride is contagious. I strive to gravitate toward people who exude Pride for their place in the world, especially people who have made their own place in the world. And these people certainly need not be gay. These are people who have already learned for themselves the cycle of Pride and accomplishment that I just outlined, and who have learned for themselves to keep their own Pride in check so that they themselves don’t become arrogant. These are the types of people who will gladly share their secrets of success with you through word and deed if you prove your own sincerity. These people have taught me that Pride need not correlate with money, but that money usually results from using your Pride wisely.

And last but not least, Pride has brought me to a place of total independence from the judgmental nature of the human condition. I need only look at my own life to find all the Pride I need to keep moving forward, not for fleeting acceptance from the world at large. This is the biggest gift I could ever give myself and Pride is the holiday to thank myself for that and to celebrate it.

Happy Pride everyone!!!
Peace Love Unity Respect

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