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It's Pride Month! It's a time to appreciate freedoms and change, to honor the preserverence of those who faced prejudice and persecution because of their sexuality, and to celebrate the accomplishments of a community. It's a time to be happy to be alive and free. Not everyone is. And not everyone will get to be. A heartbreaking reality on one hand, a reason to be grateful and celebrate that YOU are, on the other. And that... that is the root of my great love and respect for the LGBTQ community. They are a people who have fought like hell just to have the basic right to love. And yet they seem to love the most. Those I know in the community refuse to let resentment taint their outlook on life. They hear slurs, they get looks, they get treated poorly, and yet they love deeply and passionately. They hold up a rainbow, bright and beautiful, a symbol of inclusion, and they have PRIDE in who they are. For me, it's inspiring. Because, when was the last time you danced without worrying about being judged? When was the last time you sat in the summer sun and made a clover chain instead of staring at your phone? When was the last time you did something for you - just for you - not for likes on Instagram or to get ahead in life? And thought nothing of it. The LGBTQ community fights for happiness. They're not fighting for more, for fame, or to be better than anyone else. They're fighting just to have life- acceptance, peace, freedom... That's what equal rights are, aren't they? Basic rights to happiness! To love who you want to love without facing hate. To work where you want to work without facing prejudice. To be who you are without being afriad. To quote Laurel Landcaster of Odyssey: "We should all honor the past, savor the present, and look ahead to the future." Every day is a gift. So why wouldn't we support those who tie the bows?

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