My First Pride

My First Pride

Kate Jane Villanueva
Media Staff

It fills my body 
Fills my body so full of light 
I am almost bursting at the seams with 
Joy so infectious I cannot avoid it if I wanted to
And I don’t 
Joy so big I cannot frown 
Cannot cry tears of despair 
If I were to cry the salty tears rolling down my face would be ones of 
Pure happiness 
Radiating from the people around me and seeping into my body 
Connecting them to me and me to them like a magnet 

And all around us is music 
Blasting from speakers propped on our shoulders 
Cascading off parade floats 
Streaming out of restaurants lining the streets 
Where we men wear heels taller than the Eiffel Tower 
The black spikes clack clack against the pavement as we strut 
Hands waving past our face left, right as we vogue 
We women raise our hands above our heads when we dance 
The hair under our arms doesn’t bother us
We think it’s beautiful 
Hair short, hair long 
We are women all the same 
Neither man nor woman 
Both at once
Started as one and became the other 
Here we are free, we flow with the music as easily as our genders

Smiles glint around me, someone has thrown glitter in the air 
Creating a pink mist that sparkles in the 
Sunbeams that warm my face 
His lips on their lips 
Her lips on her lips 
No one has a care in the world about those who don’t understand 
We know we are safe here 
Amongst each other 
We don’t have time to judge like others might
We are too busy 
Through the streets 
The pride we have is a barrier against any hatred 
It is proven through the rainbow flags we wave in the air 
Their colors as ablaze as a beam from a lighthouse 

The pride, the community defined by these colors has been 
My guiding light 
Through the storm of 
On the days I’ve felt like I’ll never fit in 
Guiding me through the days I am crippled by the prospect of rejection 
A guiding hope through the days when an identity I did not choose 
Pushed me to the corners of society 
Into isolation 
Into sadness 
Through the storm 
Until the clouds cleared and light was everywhere 

Alone no more 
How can I fear that people will reject me when 
Stand so tall together, so proud to be 
United by an 
Identity we chose to love 
Alone no more 
We found our way home, to where we never doubt 
We belong