Archives for posts with tag: pride

Yesterday was National Coming Out Day, and public figures, private citizens, writers, and bloggers across the country shared stories in honor of their coming out as LGBTQ. It would be impossible to list all of the inspiring posts that appeared yesterday, but we’d like to share a few of the best with you.

A smart, thoughtful, and compelling post from fellow WordPress blogger Eli Aaron on the complexity of coming out as gay and trans*/gender non-conforming: Coming Out Complicated

From Stef at Autostraddle (the second-largest lesbian online community in the world), “Coming Out as an Amorphous Weirdo” details what the author went through emotionally when she came to terms with her sexuality and made the decision to come out as queer to her family in her twenties.

The Coming Out Journal compiled and posted pages and pages of reader-submitted stories about their experiences coming out. The range of emotion one feels reading these stories from everyday people is truly astounding.

The editorial staff at the National Poetry Foundation compiled this well-curated list of queer love poems from across history in honor of National Coming Out Day. (NHPJ’s resident poetry nerd suggests checking out the Marilyn Hacker, D.A. Powell, Frank O’Hara, and Aphra Behn poems in particular.)

Huffington Post’s Gay Voices section featured two particularly powerful essays from prominent African American activists: “Coming Out in Two Acts: One Man’s Story of Family, Love, and Living Authentically” by Michael J. Brewer, and “Coming Out: Is It All About You” by Wade Davis, Jr. HuffPo also included a great piece on being out in the workplace by Andres T. Taipa.

And, though it was published in April, Longform’s Guide to Coming Out includes some amazing reads.

Did you read anything amazing yesterday? Share your links in the comments; we’d love to hear what else is out there.




The rainbow flag is the modern day symbol for the LGBTQ pride movement.  It represents inclusiveness, diversity, and hope.  Historically, the flag has been a part of many different cultures and represented different ideas.  From its history in Europe, to Buddhism, to the Co-Operative movement there has almost always been the common theme of hope and inclusiveness associated with the rainbow.

The European history of the flag is associated with the Bible and it is said that God first created the rainbow so that Noah knew that there would never be another flood again.  Many reformers and social revolutionaries from the 14th-16th century are pictured with the rainbow flag to represent eras of hope and social change.  Moving forward in history, in 1885 Buddhists in Sri Lanka adopted the rainbow flag to represent the inclusivity of all forms of Buddhism around the world.  In the 20th century the Cooperative movement used the symbolism similarly to unite all different coops from around the world so that the movement would become more united throughout.

In the last fortyish years the rainbow flag has been adopted by the Peace movement as well as by the LGBTQ movement.  In 1961 the “PACE” flag (which means Peace in Italian) was used in a march to protest the development of nuclear weapons and has since been used to also demonstrate against the war in Iraq.  The most well known symbolism for the rainbow is that of the LGBTQ movement.  It was popularized in 1978 by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker.  Each color of the rainbow flag has a specific meaning; however the greater meaning of the flag is that of inclusion of all people.   The literal meanings of each color are red: life, orange: healing, yellow: sunlight, green: nature, blue: harmony, and purple: spirit.   The original flag also included pink to represent sex and turquoise to represent art/magic but since they have been removed for production purposes.

At Pride & Joy we sell an array of different rainbow flags including the “PACE” version.  As a store and as people we believe that all parts of the LGBTQ community should be included in the rainbow.  Fundamentally, the rainbow was developed to give people hope and make them feel welcome.  A rainbow means that every person can be a part of a community, even if they are a mix of a couple different colors on the rainbow or don’t necessarily know where they fit.  Pride & Joy is a place where all parts of the rainbow are welcomed with open arms and we hope to continue to be a place where all kinds of people can find merchandise that represents themselves and those who are closest to them.  Be sure to come in and check out our awesome selection of rainbow flags, big and small!


Check us out online at:

Interested in getting a rainbow flag? Go here:,119.html

Pride is a feeling most of us feel at one point or another in our lives.  We may feel it watching a loved one accomplish an important life goal, or when we accomplish a goal ourselves, or sometimes we simply feel it in moments of bliss when we realize we are part of a bigger, beautiful picture.  I’ve felt pride in many different forms, on a few different occasions.  The first was when I walked with my best friends in the Boston Youth Pride parade last spring, I was proud of my ally friends for coming with me and showing their support for something bigger than themselves in a way most of my friends wouldn’t do.  I felt a new kind of pride this spring when my rugby team won the division three championship at the Beast of the East Tournament, the largest collegiate rugby tournament in the U.S.  This sense of pride came from accomplishing a common goal, working through what seemed impossible to come out with a win we all worked through pain, sweat, cold, tears, and blood for.  However, more recently I felt a new sense of pride that was stronger than any I have ever felt before.

Previously, I wrote about this year’s Boston Pride and how it brought out a sense of community for me.  That’s not all it did, it also brought out a sense of pride that I had never had before.  At Pride, I felt as though I was part of a bigger picture and part of a movement.  There are obvious movements within Pride such as the movement for transgender rights or marriage equality but that’s not the one I felt.  I felt the unspoken movement of people being able to have this one day to all be together, expressing themselves freely and safely.  It was a time when so many different kinds of people and organizations that had different goals were all marching together and supporting one another.  Hugging strangers is a given and breaking apart the gender binaries and societal norms are encouraged.  It’s a time when we can all break from our shells and express what we feel about ourselves and for one another.

There aren’t enough spaces where people feel comfortable expressing themselves fully whether it be related to their inclusion in the LGBTQ community or just being different in general.  Breaking away from societal norms in terms of how we are supposed to act and present ourselves can be difficult and Pride events are a space full of people who understand and celebrate these differences.  At Pride and Joy, we are all about celebrating differences and being a store that focuses on inclusivity of different kinds of people whether they are a part of the LGBTQ community or the greater Northampton community.

In the last year, I’ve begun my life as a member of the Smith College and Northampton communities.  Both communities foster acceptance and embrace the LGBTQ community with open arms and it has been an incredible experience to be able to connect in a way that has allowed me to be myself at all times and express myself freely.  Growing up on Cape Cod, it wasn’t difficult to be a gay teen but there was a certain heteronormative persona that I needed to put on in many settings such as work or school.  In Northampton, I’m able to be myself and just blend in with the beautiful, unique people who live here but when I’m in my hometown I stick out like a sore thumb.  The people walking down the streets of Northampton create a sea of uniqueness that flows freely and without restraint and it has been incredible to become a part of it.

Being a part of Pride and Joy has been one of the biggest influences of my integration into the Northampton community.  Being able to meet so many different kinds of people who are interested in our merchandise has been such a good experience so far and I look forward to getting to know even more of the community within my next three years at Smith.  It feels good to be a part of the sea of uniqueness walking down these beautiful streets.

Our popular slogan, “Northampton, Where the coffee is strong and so are the women” really stuck in my head as one of the first things I saw coming into Pride and Joy in my first days as a student in the area.  It really ecompasses my experience in Northampton as well as the experience of many others.