LGBTQ+ Pride Month

To me and my family, the month of June means way more than rainbow-colored accessories and businesses showcasing their inclusivity. It’s an opportunity for me to remember where the LGBTQ+ community came from and where we’re going.

Where I Found Myself

Let’s go back to a time before computers and the internet were publicly accessible in the library. Back to the mid-90s when I was a “baby gay” and questioning my identity. I had no way of answering the questions that plagued me at night. “Am I normal?”, “Why me?”, “Could someone love me?” Pretty intense questions for a pre-teen who had just finished watching A Goofy Movie, but there I was – confused and looking for answers. I ended up going to a place where everyone was welcome, my public library. The San José Public Library was an asset in helping me discover who I was. I browsed the card catalog, committed the gay & lesbian Dewey decimal section to memory (It starts at 305 for those of you wondering), and shyly made my way to a quiet aisle that somewhat filled me with shame because I was so unsure and embarrassed of who I was. I quickly grabbed a few books and made my way to a little corner where I could read by myself. While switching between favorite tracks from Pieces of You by Jewel, I skimmed through books and slowly discovered that my library gave people like me the needed resources to find ourselves.

Many years later, I find myself happily married to the sweetest man, we have a daughter that’s practically perfect in every way, we're surrounded by loving families, and I can’t help but think back to when I was a pre-teen. I no longer shyly walk down library aisles, but rather strut with confidence and dare I say... pride. It turns out, we’re absolutely normal and what better time than LGBTQ+ Pride month to meet other fabulous people. June is the perfect time to experience a greater sense of queer community and allyship from your neighbors and the businesses you frequent. I am proud to be part of the LGBTQ+ community.

How My Family Celebrates

This June, my family will be celebrating love, acceptance, and equality for all individuals regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Pride Month serves as a reminder of the struggles and triumphs that have paved the way for greater visibility, and acceptance. It is a time to pay tribute to the warriors who paved the way for a better world. For both my immediate and chosen family, Pride Month is a time to show our unwavering support and solidarity with our loved ones who identify as LGBTQ+, offer hope to those who cannot yet live and love authentically, and educate ourselves and others about the importance of diversity and inclusion in our society. We attend the San Francisco Pride Parade, participate in dozens of events throughout the Bay Area, and proudly display rainbow flags to show our commitment to equality and love.

Pride Month means embracing who we are unapologetically, standing up for what we believe in, and celebrating the beauty of diversity within our beautiful community. It is a time to honor those who have fought for LGBTQ+ rights and continue to advocate for equality for all. In essence, Pride Month represents hope, resilience, and unity for me and my family. What does it mean to you?

Upcoming Pride Events

Dr. Roberto Cruz Alum Rock Branch
Saturday, June 1, 2024, 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Please join us at Dr. Roberto Cruz Alum Rock Branch as we kickoff our Summer Learning Program with our 2nd Annual Rainbow Festival, a celebration of diverse voices and our diverse community in honor of National Pride Month. Come celebrate with a performance, resource fair, prizes, crafts, and a free book!

Silicon Valley Pride Events
All summer long

Visit the SV Pride website to learn specific dates.

SV Pride Parade
Downtown San José
Sunday, August 25, 2024, 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Since 2018, library staff have participated in the Silicon Valley Pride Parade. Come cheer on San José Public Library staff as we show support for inclusivity and celebrating LGBTQ+ members in our community.