First Acceptance, Then Pride.

We talk a lot about acceptance in the LGBT community. We are working hard to ensure our own acceptance into “mainstream” life, we consider ourselves an open and accepting group willing to come together will all sorts of different people from all over the spectrum of sexuality.

But I think before we can even begin to work on either of those things, we must first learn to accept ourselves.

Fully, completely, with all our flaws.

This is a highly personal thing, and it can be hard. We are bombarded with images of what we should be, how we should act, what we should wear, eat, care about… We face being bullied for being ourselves. We encounter discrimination, hatred, danger, and ignorant people who can make our lives miserable.

It can be hard to be proud of ourselves. It can sometimes seem like all we are is a mess of flaws, a pile of disjointed puzzle pieces that don’t fit together let alone with anyone else.

First acceptance, then pride.

I went swimsuit shopping over the weekend. I needed a new suit because I have gained a good twenty pounds in the last two years making my two piece skimpy suit no longer a possibility.  (At least not a comfortable option.)

As I stood in front of the mirror deprived of my long flowing skirts, my jeans, my loose fitting tops and chucky cardigans or earth mother flowing sundress… when I stood there, I was forced to look at myself, my whole self. I had to accept the thighs that aren’t nearly as muscular as they used to be. I had to come to terms with the slightly lumpy pale legs and the poochey stomach.

Ultimately, I found a suit that I think doesn’t draw too much attention to my legs and tummy… (a skirt bottom and a full not super tight top)… but that also accentuates a part of me I love: my boobs.

The lesson I took away from this was that only after accepting my flaws, letting them be a part of me, could I move on to dwelling on what I do really like about myself. Accepting yourself means doing both things. Being honest about all of yourself: bad and good.

We all have things we don’t like about ourselves, but we also all have our own unique sparks. Accepting ourselves for who we are, the full package, is important.

I encourage you as we all gear up for Pride, to remember to have pride in yourself. Not just for being part of this community, but for being who you are, warts and all.

I am Kaylia. I am complicated and full of contradictions. I cry during commercials. I hate slapstick. I am afraid of the dark. I am ticklish. I don’t clean the bathroom, like ever. I am energetic and outgoing. I bite my nails. I give great back rubs. I have been known to gossip. I can be extremely loyal. I make great homemade bread. I have lumpy thighs and a chubby tummy. I have a nice pair of boobs and a ready smile. I have funny shaped toes. I have strong arms. I get too loud when I drink. I often don’t know the “right thing” to say. I muddle through.

I have flaws.

I am human.

I am happy to be here.

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