Love Always Prevails: Flin Flon Celebrates First Ever Pride Week
Above Image: The Flin Flon Pride organizers. Sixth from the Top Left, Jordana Oulette.
A common question that I’ve been asked since I began organizing Flin Flon Pride, is “what motivated you to do this?”
To me, this is such an open ended question and I could talk about the reasons why for hours and hours.
Growing up in Flin Flon was tough. I was ridiculed and bullied through elementary and junior high. People called me all sorts of names, “lesbian” or “d*ke” being common. I always felt that I was different, but my peers made me feel like it was shameful and wrong. I felt tarnished and alone, even mentally ill. Once I got to high school, the torment became worse for the first couple of years. I saw older students, Being ridiculed even worse than I was. It made me take a further step back and want to try my hardest not to be “different” and to fight the battle within myself so I could be “popular” I was constantly seeking approval and acceptance. So much so that I lost myself and don’t think that I ever really figured out who I was.
After high school, I made a new group of friends. I didn’t remain in contact with anyone I went to school with, and decided to start trying to live my life for ME.
It was extremely difficult. I started allowing myself to feel the attractions that I had for females, and trying to act on them. It made me sort of the first “out lesbian” in my age group, and in Flin Flon at the time. A lot of girls would see me in the bar and decide they were curious, or think it was fun to flirt with me and then go back to their boyfriends. I spent years trying to prove my worth to the wrong people, just like the pattern I went through in school.
I have hit rock bottom, been ridiculed and tormented, contemplated ending my own life, and have lived to come full circle. It has taken me years of self discovery and trial and error to find my inner peace. I am FINALLY comfortable in my own skin and ready to stand up and fight the uphill battle for equality.
I wish that when I was a teenager there was a support group who I could have turned to. That’s all we as human beings really need. To be heard, validated and understood. If I could do that for anyone, or help make a difference at all in anyone’s life, or coming out, then my mission is successful.
To anyone suffering or feeling misunderstood or alone, I just want to say that it really does get better. Live your life for YOU, your happiness is number one at the end of the day. If anyone out there has a problem with you and the way you live your life, believe me when I say that the true problem lies within them, NOT you. Nobody on this earth has a right to tell you who you can love, or if you’re “allowed” to have basic human rights. It takes time, but once you live for YOU, the right people and the right things will all come to you. Trust me. Love ALWAYS prevails.
This is the birth of Flin Flon Pride. I’m beyond thankful to have 12 amazing fellow human beings standing beside me and joining the movement. Much love to you all.
Flin Flon, Manitoba’s first ever Pride will take place on Friday August 18th and Saturday August 19th 2017. Go to the Flin Flon Pride website for more information or to get involved.