We had a great time celebrating Pride in Portland and Bend, Oregon. Thank you to all who visited us!
There’s only one week left of Pride month, but there’s still Pride parades in July if you’d still like to attend. Muddies will be at the Tacoma and Bellingham pride festivals, so if you’re planning on visiting, please stop by.
- Tacoma Pride Festival: July 14th
- Bellingham Pride Festival: July 15th
For the second part of our series, we asked two Muddies to talk about what Pride means to them.
For me, Pride is all about inclusivity, which there is never enough of in the world. I think my favorite description of Pride is one from my partner, which is that Pride is like gay Christmas! There is so much happiness and joy shared among everyone, and it really brings the whole LGBTQ+ community together in such a positive way. Everybody is there to offer support and appreciation for all the people in the community and celebrate everything that embodies queer culture. Pride equates to love, happiness and acceptance of a widely diverse community of people. It’s the time of the year I can be wholly myself and as express myself by being as flamboyant as I please, with little to no fear of judgment.
I’ve actively been part of the LGBTQ+ community for the last four years. The first Pride I attended was in downtown Minneapolis and it also happened to be the first year I came out, and it was a wonderful and liberating event to experience. I felt I was able to be myself, and I was able to hang out with my girlfriend at the time without anyone batting an eye. It was amazing to be out in the open after growing up with a strict religious family background that didn’t approve of being queer, and to be accepted by a community who maybe didn’t know me but still made me feel validated and loved.
I know Pride events are occasionally interrupted by protesters, but in my experience, there are hundreds of other people counteracting those protestors with kindness and positive words. That display of kindness and inclusivity can be a very healing experience for people who have been poorly treated or hurt in the past because of how they identify.
It means a lot to me that Mud Bay cares about supporting people within the LGBTQ+ community. I feel that a lot of companies may say that they’re LGBTQ+ friendly, but they don’t actually put forth the effort to support and be a part of the community. Mud Bay is different than other companies though; this year we have our company Pride shirts (which I have been so proud to sport!) and flags up in all the store windows. So many Muddies are actually attending different Prides with Mud Bay, too. I am overwhelmed with happiness and pride for the LGBTQ+ community and Mud Bay for supporting us in all that we do!
~Shift Lead Alyssa Homan, 1 Year at Mud Bay
Pride means being proud of who you are and not feeling as though you have to hide. Too many people feel that they must hide their orientation for a lot of complex reasons. Sometimes their family considers it shameful, or it’s against their religion. Safety is also an issue for a lot of queer people, while some people have a completely reasonable fear of discrimination. It’s horrible that people in any community are placed in a position where they feel they have to hide an aspect of who they are.
I hope that Pride helps people feel comfortable with who they are and they have a time where its encouraged that they express that. I also know that Pride can help people who want to talk about their sexual orientation but are unsure how to approach family and friends.
I have several queer people in my family, and I started stuffing envelopes for PFLAG with my grandmother when I was a teenager. Pride gives me a chance to refocus my efforts to be a good ally and make sure that my queer friends and family feel supported and loved.
~ Store Staff Member Heather Fish, 1 Year at Mud Bay