June 15 2018

What does pride mean to me? The definition of the word pride is a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired. As a member of the LGBTQ community, we celebrate pride not only for our self-acceptance but our accomplishments to society. 25 years ago, when I made the decision to come out to my fraternity brothers and sisters at Long Beach State, I felt it was important to free myself from the closet of shame and give a message to all that I had a positive role in society. My existence as a Latino gay man has a purpose and my contribution had and will continue to uplift my family, my neighborhood and my community in Los Angeles.

Pride is embracing myself, culture and talent.

Today, we celebrate PRIDE month knowing that our knowledge and skills will make a difference in the lives of LGBTQ youth and families particularly in communities of color. It is important that we teach our youth that they are unique and a gift to this world. We must utilize our human achievements to break down any barriers that will prevent the full potential of our youth. We must advocate for restorative justice, mental health and youth services that will foster a safe and supportive environment for the LGBTQ community.

The California Endowment has been a champion and ally of the LGBTQ community. It’s with pride that we are working together to build a healthy LGBTQ community, especially in Boyle Heights. Pride is much more than a rainbow flag, our self-acceptance…………. it’s about our human contributions that make a difference in the world.

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