Every year around this time, I hear from well-intentioned Christian people who are very concerned about my embrace of Pride. After all, they reason, pride is a sin. Proverbs 16:18 makes this clear: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” In Proverbs 8:13, God says “I hate pride and arrogance,” and even in the New Testament, James quotes Proverbs 3 when he writes “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.'” (James 4:6)

And I understand their concern. I take sin very seriously. Sin brings death and destruction rather than the abundant life Jesus promised in John 10:10. But here’s the thing about Pride: When LGBTQIA+ people celebrate Pride, we’re not celebrating the pride that is harmful. Our pride is not the opposite of humility, but rather the opposite of shame.

We are embracing the reality that we are who we are. We are rejecting the lies that have told us we don’t belong, that we are somehow abnormal or sick or sinful. We are refusing to live in shame any longer. When we celebrate Pride, we are celebrating that our beautiful queer bodies are made in the image of God, that our identities and our relationships are blessed and holy. We are declaring that we – like all of the things God has created – are “very good.” (Genesis 1:31)

So bring it on. I refuse to live any longer in the shame that has been heaped upon me by non-affirming Christians who cannot seem to see the harm caused by their attempts at sharing “the truth in love.” It took me a very long time to get here, but I’m so grateful that I finally arrived. Happy #Pride2021 everyone. Let’s celebrate ourselves!