Christopher Stansfield; New York City
My coming out process was a long one. It took a long time for me to find a sense of community. And I think when I first moved to New York and became aware of Gay Pride, there was a lot of ambivalence. Especially being somebody who works with words for a living; you know, you parse that word pride: If this is something that is innate in you and you didn't do anything to achieve it, what are you proud about? And eventually, you realize: What you did is that you're being open about it and you're facing the scrutiny of others, and that is something to be proud about.
But it took me a long time to become comfortable with the notion of Gay Pride as a thing. I'm almost embarrassed to admit, but this will be the first year that I ever march in the Pride Parade. And that will be with, you know, Gay Geeks of New York. So it all comes back down to community and how you feel in it.