Celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride

by Julie Rigano, Director of Family Ministry

My first Pride in Philly in 2018 was one of the most transformative experiences of my life. The queer and trans community in the city helped me reach new levels of growth. With their continual support since I moved here, I have not only grown but more importantly healed. I thrive surrounded by queer love.

Here is a poem I wrote at the end of June 2018 capturing the feeling of being loved, empowered, and truly celebrated for who I am by others and myself. Happy Pride, y’all.


I met the most amazing person today

They walk with their head held high
Like they know how to navigate the world
Their smile spreads across their face with ease
They are confident in what they know

And what they don’t know
And are eager to keep learning
They know they are not perfect
And yet their comfort with imperfection seems perfect to me
They are every superlative

I can’t believe it took me this long to meet them
But I don’t think we could’ve met much sooner
It took me this long to become this person
I am so excited to have met me

It’s like the beginning of a new relationship
Without the insecurity and doubt
What if what if what if
I already know how much I like myself
I’ve been practicing loving myself for so long

When I felt my most unlovable
When I felt my most dismissible
That I have loved myself into liking myself
All I have to do to keep feeling this good
To be happy
Is to be authentically, enthusiastically, and unapologetically