When I was twenty years old, I got a job at a gym in West Hollywood called Crunch Fitness. West Hollywood is gay central with rainbow flags hanging everywhere.
I had no clue. None. Zero. As I worked at this gym I would see men kissing men and think, "Wow this is so European!" I would look at the flags and think none of it. I soon did realize that I was in the hub of Gay and Lesbians and had the greatest time of my life.
I did make some great Gay and Lesbian friends. They took me in when I had no place to stay, gave me advice when I was confused and helped me find direction when I was lost. They believed and supported me when to be honest I even didn't support and believe in myself. They were light to my darkness, they helped me land my first internship and eventually helped me land my first paying job in the entertainment industry.
As the Supreme Court made marriage legal for all humans in America, I thought back to what lessons I learned from the LGBT (lesbian,gay,bisexual,transgender) community. Today, I want to talk about three lessons that my great friends and mentors taught me.
They say that Patience is a Virtue; Imagine not being able to marry someone that you love? Imagine not getting the same tax benefits as your straight married friends? Imagine if your lover was in the hospital but you didn't have the "right" to go see them? This is what my LGBT friends dealt with over and over again.
Patience is what they learned and taught me. If you want something in life you have to have Patience. You have to have Patience during times when you want to quit. None of friends left California. They could have gone to other states that legalized Gay marriage, but they wanted to stay in California.
Patience is a Virtue and I am glad that my friends had the Patience to Prosper. Now this leads me to my second lesson that I learned from my LGBT Friends.
Pride is not something you are born with. Pride is something earned. You have to earn Pride by digging in deep and working very hard at a cause that you believe in. Do you know what the opposite of Pride is? Privileged. The straight men of this world have lived a very Privileged life. All my straight friends have had the opportunity to marry when they wanted to. They had the opportunity and right to visit their loved ones when they wanted to. Without even realizing it, straight men have lived a very Privileged life in America. But with Privilege comes very little Gratefulness. With Privilege comes Entitlement and with Entitlement comes very little Pride.
During the last few years I went through a very difficult time and now having gone through this period of darkness I now have a lot of Pride. I am proud of myself and I am proud of what I have accomplished.
This is what "Gay Pride" is all about; being proud of who you are, being grateful for yourself. Have some Pride in your everyday life. Are you proud of your job, you relationships, your home, your car?
This now leads to my last lesson.
We all love to Party do we not. We all love to let our hair down and just let loose. And this at the core is what life is about. Life is a Party. Life is amazing and life is beautiful. The LGBT community knows how to party and how to let their hair down. They know that life is short and that life should be enjoyed and that life is a Party. And I am not talking about getting drunk and doing drugs. I am talking about enjoying each other and accepting each other and loving ourselves. Life becomes one continues block Party once you start accepting yourself and accepting each other. Life is a Party when you enjoy yourself and when you start enjoying others.
I invite everyone to have Patience, Pride and to Party.