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Pride and
patriotism

Pride and
patriotism

Tullysatre_15

Pride month marks one year since our diarist launched his activist group in Virginia, and the opportunities activism has opened for him have made him proud to be an American.

Satre is a junior at Notre Dame Academy, a private Catholic high school in Middleburg, Va., and the founder of the Virginia LGBT activist group Equality Fauquier-Culpeper. He writes regular journal entries for The Advocate.

A year ago I sat at my computer, frivolously typing a business plan for what became known as Equality Fauquier-Culpeper. At that very moment my life took a 180-degree turn toward political activism.

Over the past year I have had more opportunity than I ever thought I would have in a lifetime. I have challenged congressman, debated with U.S. senators, testified before Virginia General Assembly committees, spoken to crowds of anywhere from 500 to 200,000 people, fallen off a chair during an interview on national TV, and even served on two panels at the Human Rights Campaign headquarters in Washington, D.C., whose discussions were broadcast on Fox Television and in Tokyo. I spoke for the minority within our own minority, challenging members of our own community besides the opposition.

The opportunities I've had were not solely for my benefit. They were also for other teenagers around the country and the world so that they would see they can stand as equals and take action against all odds.

For a year I have not stood alone--and when I say I, I mean we. Equality Fauquier-Culpeper has been a team effort. Every member and officer within the organization has come together for one shared purpose and belief that all humans are created equal. We stand together equally as one human family to promote civil liberty for every citizen in the commonwealth of Virginia and in this country regardless of sexual orientation. Every day we stand beside every individual, every organization, and every community of people, whether through an example of truth, a letter to the editor, or a mass demonstration.

Now it is pride month and a year since I first became engaged in activism. This has been a month to show our pride--to freely show who we are, to express ourselves through art, music, dance, celebration, and festivity. Many people showed their pride by waving rainbow flags and colors. Me? I showed my pride by waving a large American flag down the streets of the parade, meeting cheers and nods as I flew down in an orange VW convertible.

A year ago I hated calling myself an American. My life took a 180-degree turn toward patriotism. I have pride for who I am: I am an American. And I believe in liberty and justice for all, as would any patriot.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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