Albuquerque’s annual Pride Parade is right around the corner and it will be my third Pride in Albuquerque. It was not a long time ago when I arrived in Albuquerque expecting my life to take a new and exciting form. Albuquerque culture was dazzling to my jaded eyes. Being from Utah, I never dreamed that New Mexico would have a democratic center where art, booze and sexuality could all be openly expressed. It sounds silly I know, but I floundered in Utah like a fish with no fins. Utah society did not have the wavering lines I so desired, but instead held me enclosed in a jail built from my own fears. At a young age, I knew that I was different and that my sexuality was out of the box society had made for me. When I turned eighteen, I high tailed it out of Utah heading straight for the ocean. Seattle was like a surrealist dream compared to my childhood, but I was still chained by the box I had made for myself. As my inner self struggled to remove brick by brick these walls, I was learning the rhetoric that would make my soul sing; sociology. I left Seattle with a college degree, a love for nature, and a sociological view on life. I felt like a Georgia O’ Keeffe canvas ready to fill my blank slate with colors one can only find in the desert. Only in Albuquerque was I able to fully express myself because I was finally ready to break down the walls. Now I am fully living my life as a lesbian and have pride in who I am and how I am living. Pride is about celebrating everyone’s journey in life and if you aren’t celebrating you aren’t living. So come down to Tractor to celebrate with us, we are opening early (12pm) so you can celebrate earlier! We will also be seen on the Sugar babies Pride Float and will be handing out beads to all the proud people.