The+Source + PRIDE: Stories from our Team

If there’s one thing The+Source is proud of, it’s inclusivity. That’s one of the great meanings of the plus+ in our name. That’s why we want to highlight stories that inspire our look on the world and celebrate our shared passion. Here are some of our staff’s pride stories.

Meet Rina

“In order to color the world with love and light, I needed to find the beauty and color within myself. Coming from a small town in Missouri, being gay and colored was not the easiest experience. Finding pride in all that darkness came from a strong foundation of family, friends, and faith. I carry pride in everything I do, not only in my sexual orientation.

Pride is a deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements. Pride month is here for all those who had to fight and struggle for their own independent representation, and the achievements that came with it by doing so. Whether you are gay, straight, black, white, rich, or poor – we all have had to fight for our biggest achievements.

Pride month is here for you to freely express your satisfactions. I am here to proudly say as a Gay Samoan, that words, labels, and others do not define you. You define yourself and have the ability to color your story with as much or as little paint as you want.

Be prideful of your story, because at the end of the day, you create the world you want to live in.”

Meet Kiley

“My setting takes place four years ago during mid-September. My sister and I were laying on my bed having one of our many heartfelt talks about life. Within an instant, I felt the room change, when I looked to my right I saw my sisters beautiful face showcasing a single tear as she turned towards me. “I’m transgender and I’ve felt this way all my life.”

I never hesitated or took the time to think, automatically I stated “I love and I support you, no matter the change.” The weight of the room lightened, and I continued to ask her questions; not quite knowing what the future would bring or the changes that would impact both of us.

Many people think there are tells or precursors that indicate these feelings, but sometimes there aren’t. When my sister, Mckenna, would talk to me she always felt that she would pass away at a young age. It’s interesting to look back at those statements and feel a kind of kinship to them; because in a way I had to process that McKenna was no longer here.

Today, I look at my brother and see how beautifully he’s living. He’s now a tattoo artist and so much happier than I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing him. I no longer have a fear of feeling like I have to get to know a stranger, because the person I love has always been here.

It’s just a love transformed.”

Meet Jake

“Random people’s thoughts and hate don’t really bother me. They are insignificant to my life. The world has jerks in it; that was a problem long before I, or any other person, came out. However, my apprehension with ‘coming out’ was not the threat of physical violence or discrimination. My fear was that the way I would be defined by my sexual preference.

My gayness is such a trivial way to define who I am as a person. But, for the first year I was out, most people shook my hand without recoiling. They did, however, make sure to tell me they ‘knew I was gay’ and, of course, they added, ‘but I’m okay with that.’ I hated it. New friends of family, new friends within my own friend group, all of them made sure to let me know they knew and were okay with it. I was a movie archetype. That one detail was the only trait people used to describe me. What a boring person I must have been.

It has died down, and I’ve gone from being the ‘gay son’ and the ‘gay friend’ to being the ‘Jake’ I always was again, albeit a more honest version of myself. Whilst I may not announce to everyone I’m gay immediately, it is never because I’m ashamed. I’m not. I always tell people casually, but it’s not so defining to who I am as a person that it’s going to be in the daily weather report of my life.

It’s a part of who I am, but not even close to the whole of who I am.”

Meet Matt

“As long as I can remember, I have known I was different. My whole life I have been struggling to find myself and love who I am. At a young age of 10 I knew I wasn’t like all the boys and that I was different in the way I felt about people. I eventually realized I was gay and came out in 9th grade. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to overcome.

I grew up in a small town in Texas, so coming out wasn’t the easiest and being accepted wasn’t what people did. I lost most of my guy friends and kept fighting, trying to defend myself and not let people bully me. My religious family had a hard time accepting me as well. My whole high school career was me just struggling with not only loving myself, but seeing how others, including my family, viewed me. I took anything and everything that was said to me, to heart. It wasn’t till after I graduated that I really started to care less about how others saw me. This is my life and I deserve to be happy!

You can’t let people dictate how you live your life and what you decide to do with it! When things feel like everything is falling apart all around you, just know there is always a silver lining!

You are important, you are loved, and you are somebody with a purpose.”

Stop by one of our locations and share your pride stories with us! Make sure to tag us @thesourcedispensary on Instagram.

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