Pride On – Guest Blog from Frankie Loredo Hernandez

Before getting into the meat and potatoes of this post, I want to give a little introduction to Frankie. Frankie is ALWAYS down, to cheer, to have a drink, to help you move in, to work hard at a workout…sometimes after an uber ride a few short blocks TO the workout…but the main point is Frankie is one of those people that you need to have in your life. Someone who is always reliable, very intelligent, and has an emotional perception that very few can boast. One workout, Frankie took a liking to the “I’m a Star” call we do during star jumps, it fits him perfectly – and now he is our star. I have already rambled too much, here is Frankie’s guest blog:

As the most colorful month of the year comes to an end, I would be lying if I said I haven’t been a little emotional the past two weeks. You see, if you had told me a year ago that I would finally be comfortable wearing rainbow everything, I would have probably called you crazy. Getting here, to a point in which I am finally comfortable in my own skin, had a lot to do with you, because if you think about it every day is like Pride at November Project.

Every day there is diversity. Just look around. Our tribe includes doctors, finance professionals, teachers, students, parents, children, and dogs. We come from all backgrounds, we are of all ages, and we hold different beliefs. We don’t even wear similar #grassrootsgear! We wear what makes us feel the most comfortable and in our favorite color.

Every day there is acceptance. We give each other high fives, bright smiles, and the warmest and biggest of hugs at the beginning and at the end of every workout. We love our newbies and learning fun facts about them… and whether you have been showing up for three years or three days, we always thank you for being here.

Every day there is love. We love what we do. How else do you explain our crazy behaviors of working out in the pitch black hours before the sunrise and in freezing temperatures of the winter? There also is love for one another. We cheer each other on race days and congratulate each other for every single PR and accomplishment. We check on each other when we are injured, when we have not been around for a while, or simply when our smile isn’t as bright as usual.

To be in this environment every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Happy Hour, and Race Weekend is incredibly uplifting and makes you proud of who you bring each time. Being gay is something that took me a long long time to be okay with, mostly because I kept wondering if everyone around me would also be okay with it. For so long growing up I felt the need to blend in and not stand out, always watching what I was thinking, saying, and how I was behaving. Eventually you become obsessed over whether you are cool enough, masculine enough, and even once you come out, you become obsessed over whether you are good-looking enough and, ironically, gay enough. Turns out, I am enough… and a little extra!

Not many of you know this but I didn’t come out to my mom until eight months ago. Doing this was the hardest thing I had ever done followed by my first marathon just two weeks after, but you were there for me in both occasions. So thank you, November Project, for not seeing race, gender, background, age, sexual orientation, but rather the color of our hearts. Thank you Mayra, Patti, Sarah, Molly, Erica, Maggie, and Whitney for always being there for me and caring for me.

June may be over and the rainbow flags may be less, but let’s keep these vibes up, remember to be kind and continue being proud of yourself, because I’m sure as hell proud of y’all.

Love,

Your Star

Thank you for sharing Frankie, keep doing you, and inspiring us.

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