By Manny Ramirez, American Indian College Fund Student Ambassador

 “Being seen makes me feel proud of myself.”

Pride month is important. When our communities thrive, we promote their visibility. We also promote understanding and equity.

When I can see my community in action it brings me a sense of pride. Being seen by my community makes me feel proud of myself. The laughter, love, and joy of celebrating a healthy Pride month makes it what it is. Knowing how the personalities in my community create spaces for us to be seen and see one other makes the world a better place. We are always trying to keep our visibility high regarding our shared values in knowing and in what we learn.

Knowing how far we have come as a Native LGBQT community makes me feel happy. I have come to appreciate how these spaces have given us a stronger voice. How insightful we are keeps me informed. I would not know the things I do today if it were not for the people and the places that have compassionately provided new ways to look at things.

My community gives their time, persistence, and patience to some of the most pressing issues. Our views show our regard for each other. We express ourselves in ways that support the communities we come from. Following acceptance, it brings me to involve myself more in ways that acknowledge and appreciate pride in who I am and who we are.

As I celebrate Pride month, I realize I have been most proud of the way my community offers equitable resources. The information and the care it provides makes me feel loved. Seeing how our communities provide resources to individuals facing some of the most challenging moments in their lives has always brought me more hope for our collective future as members of LGBQT Native communities. This is what makes me proud. Therefore, I think it is important to recognize how our Native communities respond and come together to celebrate this Pride month.