Have you ever had someone say something like “I give myself permission to…” and then felt like a lightbulb went off in your head? Well my friends I am 38 and I still give myself permission to do things that until recently I thought I wasn’t allowed to do.

For instance, I am a bisexual woman, now I say bisexual, but only because I am not comfortable identifying as a lesbian even though I have 0 interest in men.

I say this because for me, after years of trauma I am genuinely not sure if I am gay or not. That’s right I am 38 and I am still not sure which “label” fits me as a human being, and you know what? That’s totally okay.

There are some people who never fully embrace their #LGBTQ2+ selves, not because they can’t or even because they don’t want to, but because they didn’t know they were allowed to.

When I was working in the church I had the privalege of meeting a lot of kids who fell into the spectrum of #LGBTQ2+ and without sharing their stories I will say that some of their experiences were nothing short of heroic. Simply for being themselves for being the person they were born to be, many of them were punished by the parents, and family members who should have loved and protected them.

I learned a lot from these amazing youth, namely that I can be whoever I want, and that I don’t have to have a label to identify myself, so that other people know which box that I fit into.

I have been a part of the Vancouver Pride Parade more than four times I think, and each time I got to celebrate being my full self with people who loved me simply for existing, and there is a lot of privalege in that, that many young people don’t have access to.

Today marks the first day of the Pride Season around the world, and while the world is most certainly at war with itself, there are a lot of people who will be celebrating love in all it’s beautiful, wonderfully embracing ways and I am super excited.

I wish that Vancouver was doing events live and in person so I could hand out these hundreds of love letters, but in the middle of a pandemic that might be rather difficult.

This year Pride may look a little different because of the pandemic, but the spirit of pride is always with us, in our hearts in our beings. If you are a person who wants to embrace your full pride loving self then do it. Don’t let anyone stop you, because you deserve to be the person you want to be in this world. You deserve the person you were meant to be, regardless of what those who claim to love you think about it.

Race, creed, culture, nationality, size, all are dissected when you say that you are a part of the #LGBTQ2+ community and that can be incredibly overwhelming and stressful when all you want to do is just be yourself without having to announce it to the world. Some people don’t want to talk about it, they just want to exist as they are, and you know what? That’s okay too.

Whoever you are, whoever you want to be, I love you. I think you SHOULD celebrate yourself, and the people who love you, without shame or fear of what others might think, so happy Pride Season my loves. Enjoy the fuck out of it, it’s our time babies.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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