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Regina knew, of course, that Storybrooke's first Pride parade would be taking place that Saturday afternoon. She had approved the permit request. And the moment she signed her name before stamping the official seal her heart warmed. Storybrooke was something apart from the rest of this world, but that did not mean it had to be apart in its valued. She wanted all citizens to feel worthy, to feel like they were appreciated.

In fact, she even planned to attend in order to show her support. She had not, however, expected Emma to ask that they attend together.

"Of course I'm planning to attend," she said as she smoothed her hair in the mirror in her entryway. "It's important that I, as mayor, lend my support to civic groups such as the Storybrooke LGBTQ Alliance..."

"To show that the town supports the rights and civil liberties of all of its citizens," Emma interrupted. "I know, Regina. But you don't have to go as the mayor. You can go as you."

Regina looked at Emma through her reflection. She was afraid if she turned around her neutral expression would crumble. "Emma, I am a public figure. That complicates balancing my personal life with my public persona."

Emma pursed her lips, and Regina could see that she was trying to contain her frustration. A long moment stretched between them. She didn't want a fight; she didn't want to leave the house angry. And finally, Emma put her hands on Regina's shoulders and slowly turned her around. She squeezed Regina's arms before taking her hands.

"You don't have to give an official proclamation. You don't even have to mention it in your column in the Mirror. There's no one way to come out, Regina. It doesn't have to be a 'thing' at all."

So many people in Storybrooke had reason to hate her, to fear her. Even though Regina had changed, she could not undo her past. She squeezed Emma's hands tightly. "I don't want to give them any reasons to doubt me."

"If they don't like the parade, they can file an official complaint." Emma smirked. "And if they have a problem with you, they can take it up with me because I'll be right there beside you."

She was right. This wasn't the Enchanted Forest, and the past was the past. Regina took a deep breath. Maine's state motto came to mind, and Regina smiled to herself. She was a leader, and in this, she could lead as well.