Beware of Pride? No, not that Pride, the other one

July 2, 2021

What Pride Means

Rexburg Pride, 2021

by Joel McDonald

Pride. It’s a word heavy with meaning that can be different for different people. There’s the pride we might take in a job well done. There’s the pride we might have in our children. There’s the Pride that the LGBTQIA+ community celebrates collectively in June of each year. There’s the pride that Mark lists among the evil things that proceed from within that can defile a person, the same pride that the Lord is said to have warned against multiple times in the Doctrine and Covenants.

As Pride Month came to a close, we asked the Affirmation community what Pride meant to them, and how it was different from the pride warned about in the scriptures. We received responses from around the world via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email.

The Pride we celebrate as the LGBTQIA+ community was often described with words like acceptance, safety, belonging, love, respect, progress, happiness, grace, integrity, joy, strength, authenticity, and confidence.

The pride warned of in the scriptures was described with words like condescension, superiority, judgment, division, ego, and defiance.

Jennie Sonntag Brown shared that, “LGBT Pride just means knowing your divine nature! Knowing that God created you that way because he likes you that way. It’s his gift to the world and you have nothing to apologize for! Scriptural pride puts people at enmity with God. LGBT Pride puts you in harmony with His love and his vision for you.”

Randy Johnson wrote, “Pride in the scriptural sense is centered on comparison and division – putting self above others. The Pride we celebrate this month is all about loving our neighbors – and ourselves – unconditionally and without judgment, for who we are. One is the opposite of the other.”

Alejandro Alcántara Carbajal agreed, writing, “Pride is the enormous happiness you feel when you discover your divine nature, that personality that Heavenly Father gave us that makes us different. I’m proud to simply be me and to not be afraid of love.”

Robert Buckner shared how LGBTQIA+ individuals can be proud of their journey toward accepting and loving themselves, sharing, “Jesus said we should love our neighbor as ourselves, which is a commandment to love ourselves. Pride to my generation is to stop hating ourselves and to love ourselves. We are proud of who we are and shame has been vanquished. We see ourselves as a creation of God and not a mistake. We have Pride in ourselves in what we have become and what we have overcome.”

Guillermo Carro wrote, “Pride for me (as a parent of queer kids) means to love without condition, supporting personal integrity, and rejoicing in uniqueness and strength.”

There were many who focused on their relationship as a child of God, and the hope that Heavenly Father would be as proud of His LGBTQIA+ children as Guillermo is of his kids.

David Doyle, president of Affirmation Florida, shared the following:

When we talk about Pride in the sense the queer community uses it, Pride is the opposite of what the scriptures warn against.

Pride is saying I’m not lesser than others. My life has value and worth.
Pride is lifting up others and saying “you belong.” “I accept you.” “I stand with you.”
Pride is community, its inclusion, it’s not requiring you to change in order to qualify to be here.
Pride is standing against the hatred and hostility we’ve experienced.
Pride is working against oppression.
Pride is learning what I was taught about queer people isn’t correct. I’m not the caricature or straw man they told me I would become.
Pride is freeing ourselves from the shame that comes from the judgments of others.
Pride is accepting God’s will, this is how God wishes us to experience life.
Pride is learning to love ourselves. We’re taught to “love your neighbor as yourself,” this presupposes we love ourselves. We are meant to love ourselves and to love others. Love is the great commandment.
Pride allows us to love.
Pride celebrates the diversity and beauty of life.

Thank you to everyone who shared what Pride means to them. I have no doubt that your words will have a positive impact on individuals seeking to better understand what Pride means for us as an LGBTQIA+ Latter-day Saint community and what it means for each of us personally and our relationships with others.

On the topic of Pride, did you see Affirmation was at Salt Lake City Pride and Rexburg Pride this year?

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