Saturday concluded what has been a busy Pride Week on Prince Edward Island.
The week was capped off with the Pride Parade, which weaved its way through the streets of Charlottetown Saturday afternoon and many participants came out to wave the flag for this provinceâ€™s lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgendered community.
Itâ€™s something that is good to see, that feeling among the LBGT community that they can safely celebrate who they are without fear or repercussion. And it is also good to see that Islanders not part of that community are, by showing up and walking alongside their neighbours and friends, showing they support a society free of discrimination.
For many in the LBGT community, it has been a long-time coming.
This past week, weâ€™ve read the stories of the challenges that those within the LBGT community have faced and continue to face when it comes to coming out in Prince Edward Island.
Itâ€™s a shame that there still, in this day in age, have to be challenges and hurdles for Islanders within this community to face when it comes to living their truth and being who they are, openly and freely without fear of repercussions or, worse, persecution from others.
While some, hopefully very few, donâ€™t agree with they see as the â€˜lifestyleâ€™ of those in the LBGT there are far more who understand that itâ€™s not a choice but simply who they are.
For people to think that LBGT Islanders choose their lifestyle, that they suddenly decide they are gay, hopefully this week served as a wake-up call.
Would anyone choose to live a way that others would deem wrong and that some would persecute them for, forcing them to live secret lives?
Most would think not.
Yet there are many who condemn these individuals for just simply living their lives, for loving who they cannot help but to love, to live the life they are born to live.
Yes, there are some who may not agree and others who may deem it as wrong, but should they be allowed to force their neighbours into living a closeted life because of their beliefs?
We all have our beliefs, what we live by and what we feel is right and wrong, but we donâ€™t force our beliefs and values on others.
Hopefully, the success of Pride Week and that feeling of being able to â€˜come outâ€™ and openly live their lives is what the outcome will be for all, not only those within the LBGT community.
Letâ€™s all live our lives with pride.