I've always struggled a lot with my own identity, there were a lot of factors there that were a bit too much to deal with on my own: anxiety, depression, and high-functioning autism, which wasn't diagnosed at the time, and was A.D.D. instead.
I didn't have a lot of places to go for security either. I wasn't finding it among my classmates, who didn't like my weight, my precociousness and many of my nerdy hobbies. And while my parents have always supported me as best as they possibly could, they themselves are incredibly dynamic, self-starting people, and they always failed to understand what cruel trick conspired to turn their son into such a milquetoast.
I spent decades of my life lost, and when I began to also have 'those' feelings, I kept it under my hat for what seemed like a decade...coming slightly out of the sides when I was in early college, and not gaining a true definition (pan/ace/demi) until I was about 37 years old. I had a lot to hide, but pride is here to remind me every year that the hardest times of my life were due to the fact that the person most holding me back was myself, and if I hope to have anything resembling a prosperous future, the one thing I have got to stop doing is keeping myself in the closet. And that includes every other aspect of me: Latinx, An artist, An author, A fanboy, and an all around empathic person who wants everyone not to hurt in the exact same way that I had.
So, this pride, I am hoping, no matter how big the struggle, no matter if there are tens or millions of people standing in the way of you being the person you most want to be, you're willing to take it to any dissenting voice, anyone who will put you away and make you feel shame for who you are. We're all with you, and we'll all have our time in the sun if any of us, least of which me, have anything to say about it.
You deserve to be you, and you deserve to be happy.
-With Much Self E-Steam,