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Post-Carrollton Pride Festival - Incoming Rambling Post

I don't often suffer from imposter syndrome. Most of my life, I've somehow managed to feel somewhat comfortable in my own shoes and acknowledge my accomplishments/hard work, etc. I'm fairly smart. I'm fairly talented. I believe I've got a good heart.

But every now and again, I think about the weird little kid at school in Tallapoosa/Roopville in the 80's and 90's. Nowadays I generally consider myself pretty popular for an oddball, but that wasn't always the case. I always had friends, but popularity is a cruel, sometimes funny game, and it did not come naturally.

And thinking about that kid, I sometimes wonder how I ended up where I have. Those are the moments when I feel a bit like an imposter. Like I've somehow managed to pull of some great ruse. I have everyone fooled! Hahahaha! I'm a weirdo, but you're a friend of weirdos! Hahaha!

It seems unlikely that a weird, fat, frizzy haired kid who got picked on in school could end up being friends with the coolest people in town... and yet, somehow I've weaseled my way into sitting at the cool kids table. It's no ugly duckling story, for I am certainly no swan. But I guess at some point just learning to be okay with who I am became something that other people took notice of. Birds of a feather, if you will.

My high school yearbooks, unlike younger times, were full of comments about how cool it was that I was unique. And it wasn't always other weirdos saying it. I think friendship is hard as kids because we haven't figured out who we are as humans yet, but we're supposed to just agree to like everyone and get along... and that's not realistic. Yes, you can NOT be an asshole to kids who are different, but why are we expected to like everyone? Kids know this even if they don't know they know it, and we humans start creating cliques at a very young age.

As adults we sometimes end up being friendly with people who we THOUGHT we had nothing in common with because it turns out we both have ADHD and love Bill Hader. Or we love Halloween and A24 movies. Or we have the exact same girl crush. Whatever. I think we don't start appreciating the little things until we've grown up some. The little things are what's important. The little things add up and then suddenly we have a personality all our own.

I'm rambling. I'm tired, and a little emotional today. Yesterday was a blur. If you asked me to list off everyone who I talked to or hugged, I'd fail quickly. It was hectic and flew by and I didn't get enough sleep.

There were more than a couple of people at Pride yesterday that I consider a mentor or role model. People who have taught me a lot from following their lead. I won't tag anyone specific, but if you think it might be you, you might be right. And when someone who you've looked up to for years talks to you as an equal, well, that's where I have to fight the tears.

Get yourself friends who believe in you. Friends who remind you that you're a good person. Friends who have your back in difficult situations. Friends who will stand up for you but also call you out on your bullshit. Make friends with your mentors. Watch and learn from the smart people, the kind people, the people trying to make a difference.

And by golly, give yourself a little credit when you've earned it. (*she says with wet cheeks.) Carrollton Rainbow was just a concept to allow people who have a thing in common to come together and have a picnic, in theory, and it has turned into so, so much more. And I still don't feel like I have really done anything that special. There was a need, and I pulled together a few people who are working to fill that need.

It feels really cool to be able to look at something like Pride and think, "I did that!", and even though I didn't do it alone, it still feels special. And imposter syndrome be damned, I'm a good person who just wants other people to see the good in themselves. So, if I've done anything worthwhile in life, I hope THAT'S one of the big pieces of it.

"That night I dream I am dancing to Stevie Wonder's song "Always" (the name of the song is really "As," but I hear it as "Always"). As I dance, whirling and joyous, happier than I've ever been in my life, another bright-faced dancer joins me. We dance and kiss each other and hold each other through the night. The other dancer has obviously come through all right, as I have done. She is beautiful, whole, and free. And she is also me." -Alice Walker, Beauty: When the Other Dancer is Self

Carrollton Rainbow Inc. is a non-profit organization that hosts regular meetups and events in Carrollton, GA and the surrounding West Georgia area for fellowship with LGBTQ+ and allies.  Our signature events include our annual Carrollton Pride Festival, Carrollton Pride Prom and Carrollton Drag Shows. Additionally, Carrollton Rainbow partners with local venues and restaurants in Carrollton, GA and other organizations to provide a calendar of fun things to do in Carrollton, GA and fun things to do in West Georgia.  We host Q&As, ally-oriented workshops, and online guides to provide the best local LGBTQ+ resources possible as well as to create dialogue with the local communityCarrollton Rainbow believes that representation matters and participates annually in the Atlanta Pride Parade, UWG Homecoming Parade, Carrollton Christmas Parade, Carrollton Mayfest and Carrollton's 4th of July Parade. Our visibility allows others in the West Georgia LGBTQ+ community to live with confidence and pride and to celebrate our identity and shared cultural history.


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