June is Pride month and my partner and I were lucky to start the first of June off with Seoul Pride. I’ve been attending Seoul Pride for several years now and each year brings more people to celebrate together.
While there are protesters on the outside of Seoul Plaza, their numbers are dwindling. The first time I saw them I was a little afraid because many of them were aggressive. They’ve spat on Pride goers, shouted manically into their megaphones, and they’ve thrown themselves onto the road to prevent the parade from going on.
My first year, I saw a group of protesters beating away furiously at drums. They tried very hard to drown out our music. Seeing that made me wonder: how much hate or self-hate do you have to have to go out of your way to protest Pride? Rather than feeling scared now I feel sorry for them. I can’t imagine how many of them are closeted or what kind of abuse they’ve experienced. Seeing them on the parade route they looked rather pathetic. They shouted at us and held up their archaic signs telling us we were going to hell and that we were sinners. They threw a lot of hate at us and they tried to drown out our festivities, but hate can never conquer love. None of the 70,000+ Pride attendees retaliated in any way. We only shouted with joy and waved our flags proudly.
Being in the parade and seeing so many people attend made me feel very emotional and brought back memories of my first Pride. I knew I was bisexual years before I came out to anyone, but it was when I went to Pride that I felt I belonged. I knew that this community was a place that I had always belonged, even when I didn’t know it.
Our rainbow family is beautiful. We have so many expressions of sexuality and gender that all tell different stories of the human experience. We are all beautiful and we don’t need to be anything but ourselves. During Pride month and always, remember that love is love for each other and yourself.
Happy Pride 🖤❤️🧡💛💚💙💜