#ProudToBeMe – Lu Corfield
Writing about being #ProudToBeMe didn’t come naturally to one of our amazing Pride Cymru patrons Lu Corfield. Having discovered just why it’s so difficult not just her but for many others, she encourages us all to find our inner truth and live it for nobody but ourselves.
Being asked to write about why I’m #ProudToBeMe and “comfortable in my own skin” isn’t something I’ve found easy to do.
I thought it would be a walk in the park but I’ve sat here, several times this month, tea in hand, ready to type…
…I’ve walked away.
This morning I realised why I’ve been struggling.
Until now, I was trying to write what I thought I should say, rather than what I wanted to.
As a very proud Patron of Pride Cymru, I felt I should be highlighting all of the positives about coming out, embracing who you are flying the rainbow flag.
A proud Patron should be writing a testimonial with fireworks and lyrics to a gay anthem attached…
If I only painted the prettier side of the #ProudToBeMe picture then I wouldn’t be encouraging you to do what it takes to own your identity and, as the Campaign says, “stand up and be counted”.
Because the truth is that it can be really bloody hard and painful for us to get to the point where we can say, hand on heart, “I am comfortable in my own skin”.
For me, it took the best part of 25 years before I realised how the jigsaw pieces slotted into place.
Completing the identity puzzle is a huge challenge, but its especially hard if you’re trying to fit jigsaw pieces together to create something that doesn’t match the picture on the lid – the true picture of who you are.
That’s what I was doing.
I was trying to create a picture of me that ‘fit in’ and pleased other people. The picture that pleased the friends and family members who I knew weren’t comfortable with me being Bi. The picture that kept me safe from bullies who would challenge my choices and beliefs. The picture that didn’t rock the boat with the more blinkered people in my industry.
But that didn’t match the picture on the lid of my jigsaw box.
Now don’t get me wrong. Me talking about jigsaw boxes…that’s not me suggesting there’s a “box” that we all fit into. In fact, I’m telling you quite the opposite.
I’m telling you to trust the voice inside you that knows who you are. The voice that knows what the picture on the lid of your puzzle pieces looks like.
Because only you do.
I only found a way to complete my puzzle when I listened to that voice.
When I trusted myself enough to work on the picture that I could see.
When I stopped trying to create something fake.
Then I found my place of peace.
I completed my jigsaw and was #ProudToBeMe regardless of what others thought and without hesitation or fear.
I’m #ProudToBeMe because I’m not pretending anymore.
I’m #ProudToBeMe because I’ve realised what it means to be truly accepted by those that matter.
I’m #ProudToBeMe because I now have the chance to tell those of you still struggling to complete your jigsaw that it will be worth it. I can promise you that.
I’m #ProudToBeMe because I can tell you that the freedom you will feel when you decide to be ‘you for you’ is immeasurable.
I’m #ProudToBeMe because I can tell you there is a community out here waiting (and wanting) to welcome you.
So don’t let others muddy what you know is your truth. Own it.
Own your picture! Own your jigsaw pieces!
“Stand up and tell the world why you’re proud to be who you are”.
Learn from the mistake I made when I first tried to write this.
Base your story on what you want to say; not on what you think you should.
With love to you all.