Pride at MU: I'm not gay, can't I have pride?

Allies is a student group dedicated to equality for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression at MU.

Pride is not exclusive to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender community. As a straight advocate, I am proud to show my pride. I am very open with my advocacy. My pride is shown in the events that I participate in. I do not hide that I am a supporter. I mention Allies almost every day. It is a part of who I am. It always will and always has been.

I am one of the lucky ones in that I can openly support LGBTQ rights and have my family and friends support me, for the most part. I know that my parents will support my decisions no matter what I chose to do. According to my mother, I just need to make sure I have a baby, but that is just my mom being herself. Other than that, they are 1000 percent behind me in my life choices. This is not the case for many in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community.

From the time I was born, I was around same-sex couples. My next-door neighbors were a same-sex couple, and they were my “aunts.” As a child, I just accepted the fact that they were together and married. I was never told any differently. My parents were friends with quite a few same-sex couples. It was normal for me.

It was not until sixth grade that I was told that same-sex couples were not the same as the rest. I had just moved and I was talking with a new friend. I mentioned my aunts to them and they told me “that isn’t right.” And when I asked “why?” they responded with “it is girl and a guy not two girls.” I went home and asked my parents about this revelation, and they told me that the person who told me that my aunts’ relationship was not normal was the one in the wrong. They told me that some people aren’t open minded and just don’t understand love.

To me love is and has always been free. What I mean is that you are free to love whomever you wish, that sex and gender do not matter. Love is love.

Coming from this type of environment, I feel the need to support and be a voice for those who cannot speak. I feel compelled to reach out and make a difference, to stand up and use my voice, and to help those who deserve to be treated just like everyone else. Equal rights are deserved. Same-sex couples are no different. They love just the same.

Being an open advocate on a college campus is not the easy thing to do. There will be people who will not support you; people who you thought were your friends will abandon you. You need to look beyond this, because you need follow your heart, mind, body, and soul. Everyone needs to follow his or her own path, whether that is being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or straight.

I am a Government major with a Woman and Gender Studies minor. With this degree, I one day hope to become a lobbyist, after I finish law school. Some day, I hope to make a difference. I wish others who have the privilege to be an open advocate would find the courage that I have, and make a difference as well.

I joined this fight in high school and continue to fight this fight every day. I will continue to fight for equal rights and equal protection under the law until my goal is accomplished and I have left a legacy behind me.

You might think being a straight advocate is hard, but try putting yourself in the LGBT community’s position. Coming out is most likely one of the hardest things they will ever do. The saddest part is this is not a onetime decision.

People in this community are continuously coming out and reliving the experience. It is a life-altering choice to come out and be vocal. What is even harder than that though, are those who cannot come out. They must live their life imprisoned inside themselves.