Authentically Proud

June 14, 2024
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Dr. Rahul Rangan (he/him/his), from India, is a medical practitioner by profession, an over-thinker by force and a musician by passion. He believes in healing through kindness. An extension of which is his self-produced album focused on tackling social issues, an orchestration through catharsis. He wants to build a world where kindness is palpable, love is embraceable, and acceptance is breathtaking. A world where open and honest discussions will help alleviate anxiety. A world where a flood of people come together to celebrate love and identity. A world where bravery highlights the importance of community and togetherness. His Anchor: “You like because, and you love despite. You like something because of all of its qualities, and you love something despite some of its qualities.” You can follow his journey of self-healing and acceptance on Instagram at @rahulrangan And learn more about him via his website:

This story took place in United States

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This Pride was the most exhilarating experience of my life. The Cleveland Pride parade was a vibrant sea of colours. Flags and banners waved proudly in every direction. It was a true testament to celebrating individuality and embracing love in all forms. Everywhere you looked, there were smiles and laughter, mine competing for one of the largest in the crowd!

The moment that stood out to me was when I was seated with my closest friends. We were hiding from the warmth of the sun as it shined brightly over the rainbow-coloured crowd. It was then that we noticed a small child, no older than ten, draped in a pink tulle skirt with rainbow leggings and a smile that could light up anyone’s day. The child pranced around, dancing as if no one was watching, basking in the sun, and completely immersed in the music. Their joy was infectious as they were dancing their heart out, unbothered by the crowd.

What struck me even more was the child’s parents standing nearby, beaming with pride. They watched their child express themselves freely, without imposing any restrictions. They allowed their child to be exactly who they wanted to be. This scene brought out the true meaning of Pride for me. It was a powerful reminder to embrace and celebrate our true selves.

For a long time, I felt that I didn’t have the liberty to grow up as myself. I had to mold myself to fit the conservative society’s expectations. By doing so, I became a version of myself that sacrificed authenticity to minimize humiliation and bullying.

A large part of our adult lives involves picking which parts of ourselves are truly us and which parts were created to protect us. Seeing that child dance freely reminded me of the importance of embracing our true selves and celebrating our identities without fear. 

Every year at Pride, I learn a new version of what it means to be proud. This year, that child taught me a lesson in freedom and love. I want to be that child as an adult – free, spreading love with bravery. 

Pride is not just a celebration; it’s a declaration of our right to exist authentically, to love openly, and to live our lives with kindness and bravery.

Happy Pride Month 2024 🌈

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