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Never Ever, Ever, be Reminded

Never Ever, Ever, be Reminded by Felipe Zurita Quintana

Happy PRIDE month, Charter Family! As a queer person, having this dedicated Pride month makes me feel so many feelings, but more on that later! I want to share with you something that happened to me this week, something, I think, is worth sharing.

Just for reference, I drive a small hatchback, sort of sporty. It’s low and speedy, and has treated me well for many years. The other day, my partner and I were driving home from buying some groceries, feeling great that we had taken care of some long overdue house errands, ready to get home and stock the fridge—ready to cook more, eat out less, save some money, and eat healthier.

Waiting for the green light, I looked at my partner, and I got this mushy feeling all over my body, filling me with such gratitude for life at that very moment. Feeling so grateful for his love and for me to be able to love him, to be a team and support each other, and make a life together. It’s so cool to be together. I love him…! I felt gratitude for being able to be together without feeling prosecuted or unsafe because… times have changed, people have understood that “love is love,” and equality, and gay rights, right? In the USA, we now have laws to protect us, we can even get married, and we are able to love freely and securely. Plus, we live in Salt Lake City, UT which is, although you may not have expected it to be, liberal, accepting, and gay, it also has its conservative moments and spots, here and there but by and large this city is a haven for many people that don’t conform to what has been known as the norm.


Overwhelmed with this gratitude, I start to reach out for my partner’s leg, about to touch him to let him know how happy I am at this time, with him. Here.

As I’m about to touch his leg, this big truck right beside us by my partner’s side, comes to a full stop and joins us in the wait for the green light.

As I mentioned, my car is low, so we could only see the bottom part of the door of the truck, which meant that the person driving the truck could see into my car from above through the passenger window.

As I’m looking at the lower part of that truck’s door, for a millisecond, I felt the hesitation to touch my partner’s leg now that we might be watched by the truck driver in their, very high, truck. The driver might not agree with equality for gays and straights, or believe it’s a sin, or feel “uncomfortable” with us “shoving it down their face trying to make them gay” or says something through their window that puts a damper on our great day, or has some opinion about my relationship with my partner and my life (*surprise*), or maybe… Maybe they hate gays and are insanely compulsive and about to drive their big truck over us once the green light appears, or maybe they do nothing and they are not even watching.

I reached for my partner’s leg anyway, and I touched him, and I looked at him and I told him that I loved him, and that I was grateful for him and us. We had outdone ourselves today with so much done and taken care of, and it wasn’t even 8 pm. I went for it because I owe it to myself to test my courage as a reminder that I choose authenticity and I choose to love and not be intimidated for being me. I must be brave and defy others' perceptions of me. After all, my happiness does not depend on anybody other than myself.

I usually don’t feel a hesitation to express my love for my partner in public. I have embraced my gay self for more than 16 years now. When I was 20, on my Mormon mission, I finally figured out that I wasn’t a disgrace in God’s eyes and that I was fine being gay. Three years later I came out, when I felt safe and ready to face the world and begin in a sense, a new life, but more on that later, as well!

It has been 13 years since I came out,  I’m 36 years old. I have embraced my queerness and even shout Gay! Gay! Gay! to celebrate things, because I am finally happy in embracing who I am and publicly showing my authentic self. Those hesitant feelings don’t come very often nowadays, but when they do, they are a sobering reminder that my existence is still questioned in places, my lifestyle and my feelings are and can be dismissed with a simple “It’s a choice” statement, "God does not approve of your existence," or I’m lumped together with pedophiles or rapists and those having low morals in this world.

Not often do I encounter those people in my life, thankfully, but you never know when your paths may cross. For example, on our social media pages this week, we posted a beautiful illustration by Sterling Graves that says: “Pride is important because someone tonight still believes they’re better off dead than being gay.” 

As a gay person, I get it. I read the statement and immediately said: Yes! Well, the comment section showed me a different point of view, a different belief system, and a different idea of what people think of PRIDE, and homosexuality. I was sadly surprised I witnessed this not only today, in 2024, but also on the Charter for Compassion's Facebook page which is dedicated to compassion and uplifting messages, and events and to make us reflect. There are no words that clearly describe how I felt while reading some of those comments and... from then on, I became more aware of my surroundings, and what people might say or think or feel in response to my queerness.


My friends… 


This is why we have PRIDE month!


We celebrate our queerness and cry tears of joy when we feel support and safety from our human family. However, we shed other tears from the same eyes, when we mourn those in our community whom we lose yearly... just for being themselves. 




A straight person will never know what those moments of hesitation feel like.


No need to hesitate to hold their partner’s hand in the street, buy groceries together, touch their partner’s leg in the car, or stock the fridge and eat at home because you want to save money and eat healthier. A straight person will never ever experience thatnot even every once in a while. Especially not when things are amazing and everything is love and rainbows, and they are bursting with gratitude, because they don't realize how special it is to consider oneself safe, loved, and embraced by all.

I truly wish there would be no need for PRIDE month, because it would be sweet to not have to celebrate the wins in this tough war that seems never-ending.

I hope you are able to reflect on the queerness that abounds in this world. I hope you hold your queer friends tight this month, and every month. We have so much love and so much to give. Do you see it?


With love,



Ps. I’ll probably write more on this in the blog during this Pride month. If you feel like sharing something with me, email me: .