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The most colorful protest the streets have ever seen.
Put on some color and your favorite Melissas to get ready for International LGBT+ Pride Day, celebrated worldwide this Friday, the 28th of June.

The 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn Riot where it all started, brings an important mark to celebrate this year pride.Since then, the movement has only picked up momentum in fighting homophobia and working towards free sexual orientation and gender identity. In other words: being who we are with as much pride and love as possible.

Around here, different expressions of love and self-love are always met with open arms. 


We talked to some people who know all about acceptance and loving yourself, and who are spreading the message wherever they go.  Anxieties, advice, doubts, and a day-to-day vision of some who live this reality. 


Come along and celebrate diversity in being and loving. 


Be yourself, regardless of how others will look at you 


- Henrique Almeida

"Born this way" is the theme song for the life of Henrique Almeida. A photographer and graphic designer from Brasília, he discovered a way to get to know himself better through creations for his Instagram profile.  


"Instagram helped me to discover my beautiful side.  I can express my essence and, hopefully, be a reference for others there ". 

 

In addition to revealing who he really is, he ́s become an inspiration for many who ́re looking for a point of reference among the many hateful messages that can be found on the internet. 


Suddenly I feel braver and more proud of who I am, even after the makeup comes off
- Rafael Mello/Sarah Vicka
One body and many possibilities.  Makeup artist and drag queen Rafael Mello, sometimes transformed into Sarah Vicka, agrees that they´ve learned a lot together. 

"Being 'behind' a different face is a unique experience. The best part is looking in the mirror and not recognizing myself for a moment" 


For Rafael, makeup has a power that goes far beyond beautification.  He builds a new face that's never afraid or ashamed, but proud and giddy as a strong, empowered woman.

Everyone has their weaknesses, defects, and insecurities.  What matters is how we deal with such heavy blends of emotions.  Rafael ́s advice is to let acceptance and love take control and to only then face our fears and challenges better.


You need to be courageous to put yourself out there, transforming your body into liberation
- Julianna Motter

Researcher, lesbian activist, and a Brazilian down to her roots, Julianna Motter comes from a generation of women who question the roles and behavioral patterns established by society. 


"It's really hard to construct and reconstruct yourself to the point of freely being and presenting yourself to the world. Unfortunately not everyone is capable of doing so".  

It's a long, continuous, and daily process.  Little by little the conflicts between the ́inner me ́ are understood by others and things start to change.  Also, for Juliana, nobody has to be just one thing at all times. The world is in constant transformation, which helps to accept our changes within. 


She's made a list of 5 tips for better loving yourself: 

1. Trying to be who you really are;

2. Searching for your own love first; 

3. Respecting your body; 

4. Understanding that you ́re not like everyone else; 

5. Accepting your own changes. 


You deserve to love and admire yourself in the same way your partner loves and admires you
- Laura Koester

Around here, all forms of love are welcome and self-love most of all. Laura Koester, and the many open tabs within her head, learned with time the value of admiring herself and, especially, of loving herself.

 

Her relationship with vegetarianism completely changed her habits and the way she deals with things.  Details that she previously didn't notice now add to her overall quality of life. 

 

"The happier I am with my actions, the better I get: hair, skin, energy, self-esteem." 

 

Her tip is to dive headfirst into self-love.  Admiration should come first and foremost from yourself.  After that, spreading smiles and hugs around only gets easier. 


Diversity means allowing diverse forms of existence to be seen
- Marini Bataglin

At 19, Marini Bataglin already has many cards up her sleeve when it comes to acceptance and diversity. 

 

Between studying psychology and her love of photography, Marini dedicates herself to hearing and sharing stories of women who inspire and strengthen each other at the GRETA collective, a space by women and for women meant to give others a voice. 

 

Her process has evolved through the years.  Now, she can focus on the things she really wants to do instead of spending energy on defending people or situations that before would bring her down. 

 

"In other words, learning that other people ́s problems with me are their own." 

 

For her, diversity should be actively thought about in regards to who occupies- and why- each space.  Allowing yourself to be seen means contributing to less people experiencing exclusion and, on the contrary, becoming a reference for those who are newly arriving. 


Understanding yourself in the world and loving yourself so that you can then love others is a process we all should be striving towards
- Danilo Novais

Everyone discovers themselves in their own time.  That time can change according to the context in which you ́re inserted. Danilo Novais, a Gemini from Bahia, says that coming out of the closet doesn ́t always happen in a clear-cut way with total understanding. 

 

"Many times it just happens because of a situation that gets out of our control."

 

The process, like we ́ve said and Danilo confirms, isn't the same for everyone.  After all, not everyone is born into ideal conditions for accepting and owning who they are like a supportive family and friends without prejudice.  The challenge, once again, is liking who you are first and only then liking others. 


After this downpour of love versus acceptance, it should be easy to understand why June 28th is so important for so many people. 

How about following some of the gorgeous profiles and letting love take the wheel? Feel free to share these stories with others who haven't seen them yet :)

 

#PRIDE

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