Happy Pride from Interstate 81
Instead of attending any Pride events today I spent the day stuck in a hot car with my husband driving home from my 10 year college reunion. And as we sweated inside his Subaru for the 6 hour drive I couldn’t help but reflect on how much things have changed since college.
When I was a student at the University of Virginia I struggled a lot with my sense of identity. In a sea of popped collars, sundresses, and soft pastels I often felt too loud, too rough around the edges, and at times painfully out of place. I didn’t really understand what it meant to be bipolar, bisexual, and to be ok with being myself. Whoever I was. I just wanted to fit in. To wear Lily Pulitzer like a natural. Thankfully I made some amazing friends in college who gave me the safe space I needed to just exist as I am. To explore my sexuality, to explore other aspects of my identity, a space where I could make mistakes and learn from them.
I returned to Charlottesville this weekend and I was greeted by an endless expanse of salmon khakis and espadrilles but I felt secure — hell, I’d even say confident. I truly love the woman I have become and am so proud of what I have accomplished. I’m proud of how much energy and compassion I’ve dedicated to better understand myself. I didn’t attend a formal Pride event but I did spend the weekend in a place where historically I often felt the exact opposite of proud - that is until now. I returned to UVA as a freshly minted doctor, as someone who loves her body, as a rape survivor who reclaimed her right to campus, as someone who acknowledges and manages her mental health (while being a vocal MH advocate to boot), and as someone who is bisexual and doesn’t feel obligated to forfeit her sexual identity as a means to entertain or exist for others.
What can I say? I’m really, really proud.
For a lot of reasons.
Happy Pride everyone!!!