‘Parade’ is an interesting word.

I was once told, not so subtly, that I “paraded” my beliefs around too much. This was, of course, meant to be insulting; but instead, the phrase grew on me in unexpected ways.

The definition my detractor used followed the “(v.) to exhibit ostentatiously” definition. In other words–by expressing my opinions and passions for social justice, I was showing off. I found this an interesting commentary on how our society views opinions and who has a “right” to express them. I found that, overall, our culture encourages a “quiet” or “personal” political identity, punishing those who are more vocal by labeling them conceited or self-serving.

Here’s the thing–I’m not afraid of who I am. And I believe that if more people wore their hearts on their sleeve we would have a more loving and honest society. Look around. We live in a time when the government increasingly relies on deception and secrecy, the most beautiful celebrities in the world feel like they have to photoshop their personal instagram accounts, and social media allows us to groom our online personas into favorable advertisements. Is this inauthenticity really how you want to lead your life?

Parading Around follows the belief that everyone, regardless or race, gender, nationality, or socioeconomic status, has the right to be proud of their identity. Let’s all take a leap towards truth and strive to represent ourselves, flaws and all, exactly as we are.

Now, after the United States has seen the election of an inarguably fear and hate-driven individual, we need more voices than ever that are brave enough to be honest and open. By now you are probably wondering what, exactly, I “paraded around” to upset this person so much. I used my Facebook page to post articles that centered on social justice, educational inequity, and racial privilege–issues which certainly deserve parades. I will not apologize for trying to promote their cause, even on my small Facebook platform, which brings me to the second goal of this blog. By blogging about these issues, I hope to also invoke the “(v.) to cause to march” parade definition.

This is a blog in support of social equality, ran with compassion, empathy, and love for those in our nation and world who are not afforded an equal opportunity to pursue joy, unburdened.

Join me in the parade.


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