“Take pride in who you are. Take pride in your experiences. Take pride in who you love.”

Noelle LaTrace
June 24th, 2021

Love [luv] noun
A feeling of strong or constant affection for a person.

On June 26th, 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all state bans on same-sex marriage, legalizing it in all 50 states. Because of this, we no longer have to hide behind our fears; we no longer have to lie about who we are; we no longer have to tell our families that our partners are just our “friends”; we no longer have to feel ashamed of holding hands with the person(s) who make us feel totally complete.

The generational trauma of our ancestors plays a huge part in who we are as individuals. For thousands of centuries the vision of love according to society was meant to be between a man and a woman but, here we are. We are a part of a generation that accepts love for its true meaning, without discrimination. 

June is now recognized as Pride Month and for one whole month we are celebrated! But when June comes to an end, our sexuality doesn’t. 

My journey to this very moment was far from linear. When I first expressed my interest in women to my mother, she was far from thrilled and believed that it was just a “phase”. My family’s opinions mattered so much, and I didn’t want to disappoint them. I maintained being “straight” for almost my whole young-adult life. Although my family wasn’t supportive, they had come to terms with the fact that I am gay. Unfortunately, my journey, like many others, was not easy. I navigated difficult relationships, mental health challenges, and substance use. But I always believed I could find light in the dark. Despite numerous challenges I’ve grown into the person I am today. 

Today, I’ve found healthy love in a woman who respects and supports me. I work as a Teen Program coordinator to help guide the next generation. I have the most incredible relationship with my family who are supportive of all my choices. Something I want to share with you all today is that I no longer care what anyone thinks of me. I may not have always made the best choices, but they were mine to make. I did what I wanted for myself because for too long I listened to others. I’m proud of who I am as a woman, leader, mentor, coach, wife, and daughter. 

Take pride in who you are. Take pride in your experiences. Take pride in who you love. Be proud of your strong, unique, individual, and authentic self. This is your journey, your life and your happiness. Tomorrow isn’t promised, so live authentically today and change for no one. 

Noelle LaTrace, St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, is from Akwesasne, New York, a Mohawk Indian Reservation. She is not only a youth worker, but a spiritual mentor and energy healer. She is very passionate about supporting men, women, and young adults to be their truest self.