What does pride mean to me? I’m not sure I can give you an answer you may be looking for. I do not feel pride in being a gay man. Nor do I feel shame. I am just me, I don’t spend much time that I am aware of thinking about being gay. I am me, no more and no less. I guess I think being gay is just a part of me, like being short or having brown eyes, or dark hair. It’s just who I am.
What happened to these men was wrong and should never have happened. They now have the opportunity to have their records expunged. For some it will be a great relief to be able to have their names cleared. For others it means dragging up the past, and may be too much to bear. For all I would say, you have come this far in your life, you are stronger than you think. Clearing your name may give you closure, and peace to move on fully with your life.
The world has moved on from when I was young. From a time when being gay was to be ridiculed, made the butt of a joke, put down, or worse, mistreated in someway. While these things did not happen to me directly, I did see it happen around me. For the past 20 years or so I have lived as an openly gay man in a society that has changed and accepted gay people for who they are.
I watch same sex couples holding hands, kissing in public, shopping for the weekly groceries, and in general, getting on with life and no one cares, as they shouldn’t. It’s just two people in love with each other that happen to be of the same sex.