Thank you Mayor John Birkner Jr. and the Westwood Borough Council for hanging the pride flag on the borough hall. Reading about the flag raising at njersy.co/westwoodrainbow made me quite emotional. As a kid, I would have never imagined my mostly conservative hometown being so welcoming and inclusive to celebrate gay pride month. Of course back then I had no idea what gay pride was and the rainbow flag—what’s that?
When I came out in the early 90s I didn’t believe that being gay was something to be proud about. Nor was it something to be ashamed of. I still believe this. Being proud of inherent traits like having blue eyes or being left-handed or being gay seems a little silly. For me, pride comes from how you live your life. It’s about having the strength to be honest with yourself and your loved ones, to accept yourself, and to live out and openly with integrity and respect for your fellow human, especially when they didn’t quite understand you, and at a time when the world was a much more hostile place than it is today.
I applaud my hometown for the message it sends and for making the world more welcoming than it was yesterday.