As some of you may or may not know, gay pride parades are happening almost every weekend in most cities right now. With that, comes a lot of things. Unity, hate, love, discrimination, beauty, power, etc. Normally I would write about being mindful of what you say and blah blah blah but, I am actually going to write about my love for pride.

Living in Oklahoma, I see a lot of people every single day not okay with the LGBT community we have here…especially in Norman. Yes it makes me angry but, in all reality it just makes me love even harder. The vast majority of my friends are what make up the LGBT community here in Norman and I absolutely love it. I love them and I love pride. But, I love the haters even more.

That just threw 99% of you for a loop so let me explain.

Most people react with anger right back to the people dealing out hate against the LGBT community. Most people would throw a punch or shoot insults right back. That is what people want. So, when they get love in return of the hate they just dished out, it is like their whole universe is coming to the quickest end. There is no reasoning with people when it comes to hatred against the LGBT community, so there is point in arguing and raising my blood pressure.

My friends know I love them dearly. They know I would hit a B**** if things got incredibly out of control. They know I support them. They know I would hold their hands in a rally. That is what matters.

These rainbow crosswalks popping up all over the place give my heart the biggest sense of happiness. The look on my friends faces when they talk about going to pride this weekend gives my soul the energy it needs. Pride gets me all hyped up as if I am going to compete in the biggest tournament of my life. Pride is happiness.

I dare each and every one of you to go to pride and do your best not to smile or even shed a tear. I dare you to have the time of your life at pride.

I dare you to love.

I dare you because I know most of you are scared. I know most of you would hold back those tears and I know most of you would never admit you had the time of your life. I dare you to love because even though you say you do, when it comes to something like the LGBT communities you have a hard time loving.

It is 2017. It is time to stop the hate and love the pride. This weekend in Oklahoma City could quite possibly be the happiest weekend of some people’s lives. I dare you to put your differences aside, and go enjoy the pride.

“I believe we can all come together, because if you take away the labels, you realize we are far more alike than we are different.” -Ellen DeGeneres