Surviving Pride: Momma Kyle’s Advice for a Happy, Healthy Pride

Group at Pittsburgh Pride 2021. Photo by G Michael Beigay.

PRIDE! Now, THIS is the most wonderful time of the year for the LGBTQIA+ Community! It’s the time when we all gather and celebrate who we are as a community and as individuals. As we band together to stand for our rights, we celebrate our differences and look to the future of our community.

As you can imagine, Pride can be pretty overwhelming for newcomers, allies, or even the general public, but during Pride, everyone is welcome! So pull up a chair and read about some Pride inquiries, how to approach or not approach, crop top or daisy dukes (nope, neither), and other topics… HAPPY PRIDE!!!

Dear Momma,

I’m 17 years old and I just came out of the closet this year. I really want to go to Pride, but I don’t have many gay friends and I’m scared of going alone. Do you have any advice for someone young, new to the community, and how I should approach going to Pride this year?

Lil’ Newbie

Dear Lil’ Newbie,

The real deal is that ALL of us at some point had to contend with going to our first PRIDE and the different factors that came with that. First let me say, YOU CAN GO TO PRIDE WITH ANYONE–Gay, Straight, hell bring your parents or other family members. You would be surprised at the different events with varying levels of inclusivity for the different parts of our community. USE the PRIDE guide and Qburgh.com to look for events that may be good for you and your friends and family. You already took the plunge in coming out, but PRIDE is something that you might have to just dip your toe into the pool before diving in entirely. PRIDE is not something to be scared of. There is strength in numbers and we’re all a part of the community. The point is to have fun celebrating who you are with those who love you for being you…it’s really that simple.

Dear Momma,

I’ve been with my boyfriend for about 5 years now. Our first PRIDE as a couple, we had a threesome with a random person. Under any other circumstances, we never do anything like that. However, over the last couple of years, PRIDE has become the time when the discussion about “Opening Up the Relationship” rears its head and I’m starting to worry. That was a one-time thing for me and I don’t want to do it again just for the sake of staying with someone. What do you think I should do?

Once Was Enough

Dear Once Was Enough,

I’d like to be fair to your boyfriend and at least state that license was implied given the precedent of the initial act. HOWEVER, how have you been handling the situation over the course of the last several years? If it’s still something that he’s asking for, I’d suggest you take a different approach than you have been because something isn’t quite resonating with him. Maybe try letting him know how you TRULY feel about your relationship and how his “Yearly Pride Desires” make you feel about the security of your relationship with him and where you stand as a couple. I think that during PRIDE, a lot of us tend to lose some inhibitions and maybe do things that are out of our comfort zone because the environment can be so freeing. How you bounce back from those actions will dictate the effect they will have in your future. Obviously, I think your relationship is solid enough if it’s been several years and he tends to drop it after you say no, but you should really just be honest about how it makes you feel and that the opportunity is off the table. No matter what, make sure you have fun with your man at PRIDE, whatever that may mean for the both of you.

Dear Momma,

I am not out at work but have recently been concerned about volunteering with my employer-based resource group at PRIDE this year. It is something that I am really passionate about, but I’m worried that it will automatically start calling my sexuality into question and those are questions I’m not willing to entertain in the workplace. I believe no matter what, my sexuality has no bearing on my career, but it’s just my personal preference to remain private about it. How would you handle this situation if it were you?

Workplace Silence

Dear Workplace Silence,

 You make a valid point. Sometimes we’re outed by association with causes related to our community and we can carry that with us through many facets of our personal and professional lives. I can speak from experience that there are always several allies present with employer-based resource groups that represent family members, colleagues, etc., so it may not be as automatic as you think. As always, I’d have to tell you to let your COMFORT level guide you. If you’re not prepared to answer questions, you may want to limit your involvement, and that’s OK. If you can easily think of a friend or colleague that you’re close with at work that is out, you can show your support for them and, vicariously, for yourself. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with keeping your private life private. It doesn’t make you any more or less proud of who you are as a member of this community. I would, however, invite you to entertain the possibility that it won’t be the apocalypse if you came out at work. Work will still be work and life will still go on. Be open to opportunities to be your most authentic self without apologies, because that’s what PRIDE is all about.

Ask Momma Kyle your questions

Promise he won’t bite… hard.

Kyle Leotsakos
Kyle Leotsakos works in both healthcare administration and retail. He lives in the Greater Pittsburgh Area with his dog, Zeus. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Business. A NJ native, this is his second time living out in the Pittsburgh area, as he enjoys the mix of city and country it provides. Follow him on Instagram. Ask Kyle for advice here.