Pride is a canonically sinful act, yet this must be understood in the context of a time when passivity and conformity were considered virtues. Pride is no sin. Arrogance is the destructive assumption that, “I am better!” whereas pride is a pure, “I am!” Pride is the act of looking at ourselves and celebrating who that person is, who that person can be. It is acknowledging the beauty of our differences, as history has proven that pride cannot exist in conformity.

With difference, however, comes fear. With fear comes hate, and violence. But rather than cower or be shamed, pride rises against it. Pride exists in defiance, as a challenge to those who, out of their fear, seek to belittle or degrade those beautiful differences in which pride thrives. To be proud is to stand up no matter the number of times we are knocked down.

Pride demands the courage to be different. Pride demands the integrity to be the best possible version of ourselves we can muster. Pride demands the honesty to bare our genuine souls to the world. All these attributes are the most admirable qualities a human being can embody, and it these aspects of ourselves that we honour.

To tell others to be proud is to empower authenticity in a world overrun by self-doubt and humiliation. It asks that you celebrate yourself, that you celebrate your community. Celebrate what separates you from your neighbour, and celebrate what separates your neighbour from you. So be brave. Be true. Be proud.