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    What Pride Means to Me

    By Tony Archuleta-Perkins–

    Pride is a multifaceted concept that holds different meanings for different people. For me, Pride is a celebration of identity, a recognition of the struggles and achievements of the LGBTQ+ community, and a commitment to living authentically and unapologetically. It is a time to reflect on the progress made towards equality and to acknowledge the work that still needs to be done. Here, I will explore what Pride means to me through various lenses: personal identity, community, and advocacy.

    Personal Identity

    Pride, at its core, is about self-acceptance and authenticity. It is the realization and celebration of who I am, without fear or shame. Growing up, I often felt different and struggled with understanding my identity. It wasn’t until I embraced my true self that I began to experience the profound sense of freedom and happiness that comes with self-acceptance. As Jose J. from Gainesville, Georgia, shared, “Celebrating Pride Month means recognizing that all of us as human beings have rights. It also means celebrating diversity and coming together as human beings. Pride is about acceptance and understanding that being different is okay. Be who you are and own it!”

    This journey of self-discovery and acceptance is not always easy. It involves overcoming internal and external challenges, such as societal expectations and personal fears. For many, including myself, coming out is a significant milestone. It is an act of courage and a declaration of self-worth. As Airman 1st Class Joshua Murillo from Fairchild Air Force Base expressed, “It is a realization that being gay does not make you different, or an outcast of society. It is a feeling, however, that lets others know that no matter the person, you are completely satisfied with the way your life is turning.”

    Community and Connection

    Pride is also about community and the sense of belonging that comes with it. The LGBTQ+ community is diverse, encompassing people of various genders, sexual orientations, races, and backgrounds. This diversity is a source of strength and resilience. Pride events and celebrations provide opportunities for connection, support, and solidarity. They remind us that we are not alone in our experiences and that we have a community that stands with us.

    Karen W. from Murphy, North Carolina, highlights the importance of community, stating, “Being autistic and a member of the LGBTQ+ community has provided me with a sense of family—especially during Pride. Hearing about the coming out stories of others helped me to see that we are not only a community but also a family that has each other’s back in good and bad times.” This sense of family and mutual support is a cornerstone of Pride.

    Pride events also serve as a platform for visibility and representation. They allow us to celebrate our identities openly and proudly, challenging stereotypes and prejudices. As the team at Limitless GigCX noted, “Pride means acceptance and authenticity of self. It’s a time when people can gather and accept themselves and each other and maybe just for a moment be able to breathe a sign of contentment.”

    Advocacy and Progress

    Pride is not just a celebration; it is also a call to action. It is a reminder of the ongoing fight for equality and justice for the LGBTQ+ community. While significant progress has been made, there are still many challenges to overcome, including discrimination, violence, and legal inequalities. Pride is a time to honor the activists and trailblazers who have fought for our rights and to continue their work.

    The Women’s Foundation of California emphasizes the importance of advocacy, stating, “Pride provides so many opportunities for community and connection—by telling stories about our history as an LGBTQ community so that we can celebrate our past and plan for a better future. Pride allows us to come together to celebrate our wins, our culture, and each other, all of which have enormous potential to build community and connection.” This advocacy is crucial for creating a more inclusive and equitable society.

    Moreover, Pride is about using our voices and platforms to effect change. It is about standing up against injustice and supporting those who are marginalized within our community, such as transgender and non-binary individuals, people of color, and those with disabilities. As Oz Parvaiz from LinkedIn shared, “Privilege, when used for good, is an incredible super power! In my personal opinion, I do believe that the LGBTQ-struggle has been the defining civil rights moment of my generation.”

    In conclusion, Pride means many things to me. It is a celebration of identity, a sense of community, and a commitment to advocacy. It is about living authentically and unapologetically, embracing our differences, and standing together in solidarity. Pride is a reminder of the progress we have made and the work that still needs to be done. It is a time to honor our history, celebrate our present, and envision a future where everyone can live with dignity, integrity, and joy.

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    Tony Archuleta-Perkins is the founder and owner of Ide8 Real Estate. He has worked in finance for 25 years, ten of those years specifically as a fractional CFO. He has two master’s degrees: an MBA and a Master of Science in Real Estate. In addition to his educational and professional pedigree, Archuleta-Perkins has a passion for advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. He proudly volunteers and serves on two boards here in San Francisco: President of the Golden Gate Business Association and Treasurer of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, SF Chapter. He and his husband enjoy international traveling and scuba diving.

    GGBA Calendar

    Saturday, June 29–Sunday, June 30
    GGBA Booth at Pride 2024 Celebration—join us!
    Saturday: 11 am–6 pm
    Sunday: 11am–6 pm
    Civic Center Plaza

    Tuesday, July 9
    July Make Contact – East Bay!
    6–8 pm
    Bandaloop, 1601 18th Street, Oakland

    Friday, July 12
    Business Accelerator Program, Launch of Cohort 4
    2–4 pm
    JP Morgan, 560 Mission Street,
    San Francisco

    Wednesday, July 17
    New (& Prospective) Member Orientation
    6–7 pm, Zoom

    Tuesday, July 30–Friday, August 2
    NGLCC International Business & Leadership Conference
    Palm Springs

    Tuesday, August 13
    August Make Contact
    6–8 pm
    Northwestern Mutual, 600 Montgomery Street, Floor 16,
    San Francisco

    Friday, September 6
    Business Accelerator Program, Launch of Cohort 5
    2–4 pm
    JP Morgan, 560 Mission Street,
    San Francisco

    Tuesday, September 10
    GGBA Annual (Membership) Meeting + Make Contact
    6–8 pm
    Location TBA

    Tuesday, October 8
    October Make Contact
    6–8 pm
    Location TBA

    Tuesday, November 12
    November Make Contact
    6–8 pm
    Location TBA

    Tuesday, December 10
    Holiday Party!
    6–9 pm
    Location TBA

    GGBA Message from Leadership
    Published on June 27, 2024