Excellent points, Rev. Grey Maggiano. One concise way to express what Pride means for LGBTQ people goes like this:
Pride is the opposite of Shame.
We are used to having shame imposed on us and having religion weaponized against us.
So, when we say we’re “proud,” what we’re actually saying is the we’re rejecting shame and embracing love and joy.
Some of us do that in a fully spiritual or even Christian sense. Others of us cannot, because the rejection and humiliation heaped on us by religious people is too large and toxic a burden to overcome.
We cannot stop being who we were created to be. So we embrace it instead.