I’m proud to say I wear my bracelet everyday even to the church I work at I don’t care what they think of me I’m happy to be lesbian and I feel safe to wear my bracelet everywhere I go. Thank you for the bracelet I’ll be sure to stop by the center and pick up a bracelet for a friend :). Thanks again!
My bracelet is a sign of freedom and strength. It allows me to be free to express that I am gay to express my freedom to show what I am openly and that regardless what others feel I am allowed these rights under the US constitution and that I stand proud for this freedom of sexuality… My bracelet allows me to be strong in ways that I have strength to face diversity I stand proud of who I am and I am strong enough to face people who don’t think I am a first class citizen… Every time I look at my bracket I am reminded of those who suffered in the past.. I am proud to be openly gay and proud of what I stand for and that I am allowed to be myself…
I have lived in a small Alaskan town for most of my life. We’re not talking village small, but we are talking a population of maybe 6,000 people. There was a gay-straight alliance here for a while, but it had a membership of about five people and it wasn’t organized through the school district like most such groups. Anyways, I came out as a lesbian in February 2011, and started dating my first girlfriend on my 17th birthday which was in mid-March. She started coming to GSA meetings and shortly after we got together the 5 of us in the group ordered some Rainbow Delegation bracelets to wear.
I wore that bracelet long past the end of that relationship, which was brief but not dramatic. (Basically, we decided we were better off as friends. This kind of thing happens a lot when you’re young and gay in a small town. Because of the limited dating pool, you want to date pretty much every queer person you meet.) Anyways, I wore that bracelet for over a year and only stopped wearing it about a month ago (July 2012) because it finally broke. I rarely took it off during that time and when I packed up my boxes for my new apartment, I put the snapped bracelet into the bottom of the box that held all my photo prints and sentimental letters.
In some odd ways, the bracelet symbolized my identity as a young queer person in a larger community of queer people. It felt good to be able to display my pride daily in a small, unobtrusive way. Even though I wore it so often I ceased to notice it, I felt naked when I didn’t wear it. Like young children will have a comforting stuffed toy to hug when they’re sick or sad, I had a comforting rainbow bracelet that reminded me I was born this way.
First off, I knew Renne Morrow. I’m not sure if you remember her story, but she always had her bracelet on. She was a really important member of our campus’s LGBT community, and our marching band (which is how I knew her.) She was in an accident back in February and passed away. She was, as usual, wearing her rainbow bracelet. Rainbow Delegation was absolutely amazing and, even though there were a lot of people that weren’t getting bracelets, sent us about 300 bracelets for her memorial. I think most people who wanted one of her bracelets got one, and now, almost 6 months later, so many of us are still wearing our bracelets and haven’t taken them off. I’m not going to speak for anyone else, but I wear mine for a lot of reasons. One of those is obviously to remember an amazing person. Also to show support for the LGBT community, and even if it’s not obvious, to say I really don’t care about what kind of people you like or whatever you identify as. Related to that is most of my family is fairly conservative and my dad and I disagree about a lot of things regarding LGBT people, and maybe subconsciously I keep it on to disagree with my dad more. My last reason is more complicated. I’m ashamed that I judged Renne before I ever talked to her, and then she was gone before I ever got to know her. I wear “her bracelet” to remind myself to never judge anyone like that ever again.
P.S. My friends and I have jokingly speculated whether random people who see the bracelets and don’t know exactly what they are think that we’re gay or something and we just laugh. Mostly because we don’t particularly care.