Whoever came up with the concept of “Pride” when naming our Pride Marches and Pride Month was definitely clever. As LGBTQ people, we use the word pride a lot. But perhaps we don’t spend enough time understanding the opposite of pride: shame.
All people, and especially LGBTQ people, experience the destructive force of shame.
Shame is not the same thing as guilt. Guilt sometimes can help us find our moral compass and so it has some value. But shame does not help us grow.
Here are some definitions offered by the well-known shame researcher and writer, Brene Brown*: