Hot Topic

PROUD

Big Tobacco used Pride to target members of the LGBTQ+ community. So we’re asking you: what makes you feel proud?

Damon

“I am a young, black, queer man of color.... getting to know myself a lot more makes me very proud. I remember a time when I didn’t necessarily know who I was or felt very uncomfortable with who I was, so being in a different space where I can explore and experience new things and have people in my space who share likeness about themselves makes me proud. They’re happy to be themselves and help me to understand myself a bit more, and ultimately make me proud of who I am.”

–Damon shares what makes him proud. 

Anna

“The long version? Paralegal and office manager by day, aspiring public interest statistician by night as well as a raccoon video aficionado. The short version is a Chinese-American lesbian. Proud means being comfortable in my own skin and all the things that I am.”

–Anna shares what makes her proud.

Lester

“I am a brown, gay, Filipino immigrant who moved here five years ago. My Filipino background makes me proud because it keeps me grounded every day.”

–Lester shares what makes him proud

Kaye

“I am a Filipino, bisexual woman. I dedicate my whole life to that little girl in the Philippines who is confused about who she is. I want to give her a chance to be visible and accept herself, knowing there are other people out there like her. Proud to me is courage. It's being out there. It’s waking up in the morning, knowing who you are, and having the strength to show that to the world.”

–Kaye shares what makes her proud

Emily

“I think pride and being proud is all about being unapologetic and being unapologetically joyful. It’s about letting yourself have the joy that you deserve and have a right to as an individual. I think with pride, especially in this context, you have to think about how even when the world works against you, you need to just stand up and be true to yourself. Believe in what you believe. Trust in yourself and your community.”

–Emily shares what makes her proud 

Kotic Couture

“I learned to love the beauty in who I am even when it’s not appreciated by others. I believe we’re all here for a purpose and mine is to be true. I use my art as rebellion. If I have to be the crash dummy to take the hit so someone else can live truly, I’ll do that. Being proud means breaking barriers and fighting against whatever is told to us we “have” to do. The only thing we’re supposed to be doing is living our truth in our lives and inspiring others. I’m my most proud on stage when I’m authentically being myself.”

–Kotic Couture shares what makes them proud

Av & Ar (@breitzboys)

“We’re from Orthodox Jewish communities and volunteer at an organization that helps LGBTQ Jewish teens in addition to educating communities about what it’s like to be a queer Jew. We try to be a representation of what living a happy and accepted Jewish queer life can be like. Being proud is about walking down the street holding your significant other’s hand - regardless of one’s orientation or gender. To feel equal, safe, wanted, loved and loved back - and not just during the month of June. Being proud is that feeling of happiness that overcomes you when you find yourself in a crowd of LGBTQ people, all celebrating one another and truly, fully, honestly knowing that we can and will make a brighter, better, happier future for ourselves and for all future generations.

–@Breitzboys share what makes them proud

Aydian (@alionsfear)

“I am a Trans Father, speaker and activist. I use my platform to promote positive conversation, educational dialogue and I use my own journey of self love and accept to be a platform for others to dive deeper into their own self worth. Being PROUD means believing in something no matter what others may think or say about you. I am a PROUD Trans Father to an 8 month old named Antler. He makes me PROUD to be a new face to the word “Dad.” He motivates me to be confident in our bond as a family and to help others know that if I can do it, they can do it too.”

–@alionsfear shares what makes him proud. 

Andrew

“I am proud that I learned to live life for myself. I spent too much time in my early years trying to impress people that paid me little to no mind, and it took a long while to realize I had to put my own happiness first. Every day, I am learning to love myself more, and I will never apologize for that.”

–Andrew shares what makes him proud.

High School Nation

truth’s throwing a dance party & you’re invited.

Finishers 2.0

Don't get played while big tobacco gets paid.