Being Out and Proud: Are They The Same Thing?

Are being “out” and being “proud” the same thing? Read the story below and have a conversation with your GSA about the real meaning of PRIDE!

Azad and Melanie are two active members of their school’s GSA. They are planning to have a meeting about how they can celebrate Pride Month at their school. As they were planning their meeting, Melanie said, “I don’t understand the point of Pride Month. Why would you be proud of being LGBT?” Azad responded that he had never thought about it. Melanie went on to say, “Isn’t being proud of being LGBT like being proud of having brown hair? Shouldn’t people be proud of things they’ve accomplished, not things that they have no control over?” Azad suggested that Pride was a symbolic celebration of the beginning of the Gay Rights Movement and also stood as a political statement. Melanie wasn’t satisfied with that answer and still wondered why people use the term “pride”. Azad responded saying, “Well, maybe if we think about ‘proud’ as the opposite of ‘ashamed,’ then maybe we can understand why Pride Month is so important!”

Discussion Questions

  1. “Pride” is an important celebration of LGBT rights in the United States, but being “out” is not always an option for everyone. How can events like “Pride” be important for LGBT people who are not “out”?
  2. Do you agree with Azad, is “pride” the opposite of “ashamed”?
  3. While being “out” can be a source of pride that can be liberating for people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual, some transgender people feel that “outing” themselves as trans causes others to misinterpret their gender identity. Can someone be proud of their sexual orientation or gender identity and not be “out”? Why or why not?
  4. How can being “out” and participating in “Pride” events be a privilege for some?
  5. Is there a difference between being an ally to the LGBT community attending a “Pride” event and actually being a member of the LGBT community?
  6. Is it important that some people are “out and proud” so that others who are not can feel that their identities are socially valid? Why or why not?
  7. What does being “proud” mean to you?