a Day of Pride

Why This Gay Dad Just Published His Own Book: A Day of Pride

Guest post from Roy Youldous-Raiss

From Shame to Pride

My story starts with shame. Shame of forbidden thoughts, shame of impossible feelings, shame of simply being me.

There was also quite a bit of fear in my story. Fear of disappointing my parents, fear of being exposed as I truly was, fear of ending up alone.

I was 13 when I started writing the first words about my sexual identity, hoping that no one would read what I had to write.

For seven years I pretended I was someone else, faked happy smiles, lied to the people closest to me - just so I would not reveal the worst secret of all.

Seven years in which I hid in a closet of shame, prayed I would become ‘normal’ like everyone else. But I was not born with a bracelet of shame on my wrist. Shame had been dripping into my life for years by people who thought I was not worth it, all those who thought I had no place in this world.

The shame grew stronger with every “gay” shout I heard in the school hallways; with every bill in favor of LGBTQ rights and equality that didn’t go through; with every article which described LGBTQ people as perverts; with every bullying post that referred to gay people as sick; with every hate crime against another LGBTQ person.

It evolved every time I was told I was "too flushed" or "too pretty" or “too sensitive." These were not easy years for a young boy who was just starting to discover the world. Those years did not have much room for pride in me.
It took me seven years until I was able to start writing the pride chapter in my story.

_Roy-Youldous-Raiss-1

Seven long years during which I took off the layers of shame and guilt - until I felt strong and brave enough to come out of
the closet as who I have always been.

At 20 I decided to join the party. I wore the best clothes I had and headed towards my first Gay Pride.

Excited and anxious I started walking towards them - a huge and colorful community, which seemed to be waiting for me to arrive. Thousands of people were there - smiling, dancing, happy as they were. In one incredible moment I realized that I had not been sick all those years, I had not been a criminal or a dangerous pervert, I would not end up my life as sick and lonely. There were so many people just like me. I could finally breathe. I was fine, I have probably always been. The walk of shame had changed into a celebration of pride. In the years that followed, I came out of the closet to friends and family, and helped others to find their way.

At 28 I fell in love with the sweetest guy in the world. 5 years later we fulfilled the biggest dreams we had – a family of our own.

Following a long and complicated surrogacy journey I became a father to the most precious twin girls in the world.

Shortly after, we went to Gay Pride – together as a family for the first time. They were only 6 months old, but I swore I would do whatever I could to make this world a better place for them to grow-up in. I would educate the younger generation about pride and acceptance, allowing them to accept all people as they were. 27 years after the words of shame, I have published my debut children’s book about pride.

A-Day-of-Pride-Childrens-Book

'A Day of Pride’ is dedicated to children of all kind; to those who grow up in families of all shapes and colors; to those who feel differently or think outside of the box; to grown-ups who may have forgotten what pride is all about.

It is also dedicated to the 13 year-old-kid I once was.

Roy Youldous-Raiss
A Day of Pride Author

Pick up your copy of A Day of Pride on Amazon


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