Call it gratitude, not pride

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

This Friday there will be an LGBT bicycle manifestation in Tallinn. Unfortunately the Estonian LGBT association’s website is poorly maintained, it shows only a link to the event on Facebook.

Should we participate nevertheless?

I have a problem with the word “pride”.

Pride is the emotion and attitude of being satisfied with yourself. Pride as an emotion it okay, just as any emotion.

But I don’t like pride as an attitude. Pride is not something I wish to celebrate nor to cultivate. I agree that self acceptance is an issue for LGBT people, but inviting them to feel proud is not a solution. You can stop feeling ashamed without becoming proud.

Condemning pride, vanity, shamelessness and pornography does not mean that I condemn queer people.

Yes, my understanding of the word is influenced by the Church, who has a long tradition of classifying (arrogant) pride as a vice.

So in case I participate in that bicycle manifestation in Tallinn, I plan to show one of the following slogans:

  • Call it gratitude, not pride (Tänulikkus, mitte uhkus)

  • Be grateful, not proud (Ole tänulik, mitte uhke)

TODO: is “pride” really a vice? What are precise definitions of “pride”, compared to self-esteem, vanity, arrogance? See About pride.

The Wikipedia page about pride says that St. Augustine defined it as “the love of one’s own excellence” (“Est autem superbia amor proprie excellentie, et fuit initium peccati superbia”), but latin superbia is translated also as arrogance or haughtiness.

This looks interesting:

Richard Taylor defined pride as “the justified love of oneself” and opposes it to narcissism (source). I’d call justified love of oneself “self-esteem” but not pride.