Nearly 25 years ago, three gay men decided they wanted to change the definition of the barbershop by creating a place for everybody, and Rudy’s was born. From day one, we've made it our mission to champion the LGBTQ community in everything we do, and that starts with our employees. To celebrate Pride month, we’ve asked some of the LGBTQ members of the Rudy's family to share what Pride means to them in 2017.
"Well, to me pride is being courageously authentic. In whatever you do and how you do it, be genuine! I think we gain a different perspective on life when we are real with ourselves and others. If this happens, I believe we are less likely to end up in relationships that don't work, doing things we don't want, or in jobs that aren't fulfilling." —Dmarkis, Seattle
"Pride is important as an annual celebration of gay rights and who we are around the world. It marks gay liberation and the on-going quest for equality in society. To quote Marsha P Johnson; legendary transgender activist and stonewall riot instigator, 'nobody promised you tomorrow'.
To me, Pride is about remembering and honoring those who are no longer with us, while celebrating and embracing those who still are. Love, unity, and optimism underpin the Pride celebrations, and this feels more poignant and pertinent than ever with world current affairs in mind." —James, New York
"Pride in 2017 means everything to me. It means being proud of who I am and not being afraid to show the world that. It means spreading love and acceptance, supporting others, and standing up for those who need it. Living during a time where it feels our government is trying to erase us can be unnerving and infuriating. However, pride is also having hope for our future and standing together to achieve equality. I will forever remember 2017 because this is the year I walk down the aisle to marry my wife, and I couldn’t be more proud of that." —Allie, Seattle
"Pride means just being myself and being able to look in the mirror and like what I see. I spent my whole life listening to what other people had to think about me and the older I get, the more I just don't care anymore what people's opinion are. I get to be myself and really love myself, and I think in 2017, that's so important to stand up and take pride in you.
I hope that the pride I have in myself and my community will radiate into other people's lives and attract that person who hasn't come out yet or give them a voice or a safe space to be themselves. Sometimes, just being yourself gives others the strength to stay alive." —Seth, Los Angeles
"Having pride, to me, means respecting myself and others lives. I am a proud pansexual woman, single mom, and I'm a member of this human race. I will never hide my sexual orientation, my experiences, or my life. If someone asks me a question about my history or how I have gotten to where I am, I will be open and honest. I will not be ashamed. I have spent too many years denying myself and hiding. I found myself years ago, and I found pride." —Stephanie, Nashville
"For me, Pride is less about a weekend or month, but rather about being true to yourself in daily action. Being queer is a significant part of my identity, but it doesn't define me. I am myself everyday, and I think that is something to be proud of." —Lindsey, Seattle
"When I was in acting school, I had a very wise and kooky teacher who used to wax philosophically about all sorts of things. But one message has continued to stick with me.
As infants and young children, there is an innocence, curiosity, and light that is so pure and true. We’ve all been led to believe that as we grow up, we are taking in information and experiences that widen our scope and view of the world. While that’s true on an intellectual level, what happens to us in terms of a heart or spirit level?
We begin to shroud that light of pure joy and innocence with guards and safe-holds that form out of trauma and fear. We learn what is 'safe' to reveal; an example of this as queer people is how to walk so as not to appear 'gay' or how to talk to remain safe and not be vulnerable.
Pride however is a magical time because the collective consciousness shifts. We allow each other, but more importantly ourselves, to reveal our light to one another. We allow each other to be vulnerable.
We’ve been taught by man-made mandates like standardized education, stupid bullies, and unnecessary gender confines that being a successful or full expression of a person is looking outwards and taking in all sorts of information and experiences to build up. It’s not only that. We have to also break down the walls and covers that hide our light.
Find small ways in your everyday life, not just Pride season, to let the light out. Be vulnerable. Be seen. Xoxo." —Abbey Roads, Queen of Corgis and Corndogs, Seattle