As I started to write this piece, my Spotify playlist began playing Xanadu, and I hope it transports you to that magical place. I think that’s the universe’s idea of fun!!
What’s the story, very simple I think, it’s May 2020, Pride celebrations around the globe, including world pride and some of the most significant annual pride events, are getting cancelled. Just as all events where there is a public gathering more than ten people, assuming you are out of lockdown and isolation. As I write this from Colombia, we are still in lockdown until June!!
I wanted to take a moment to write a piece for my LGBT2SQIA+ sisters, brothers, and siblings. That doesn’t mean those readers who are not LGBT2SQIA+ or allies can skip this one; there is always a lesson in Acceptance in every post.
Pride teaches everyone to be proud of you are, regardless of gender, sexuality, identity, presentation or fluidity in any those vectors. That even includes “straight” folks.
I remember the journey from “straight” to “queer” (my preferred term, although not everyone likes it as it has a history of hate that I am trying to diminish by taking ownership of the word.)
It was never a journey taken lightly; after all, I was around in the ’80s when AIDS and HIV became front-page news, and I remember with shame now on my response back then when I thought I was a “straight” person, I was not accepting! I apologize to everyone for the words, hurt and behaviour at that time; I know better now.
I recall my first Pride; I was a newbie, a baby trans person, just coming out in February, and here it was May/June, and I was going to celebrate the new me!!
Have you ever had a situation like that, perhaps due to weight loss, lifestyle change, a makeover, new home, career advancement or other life events where you were so joyous you wanted to shout it from the rooftops? Even if not precisely, the feeling inside you was exploding with Joy. However, I would argue that posting on social media is shouting it from the rooftops these days.
That joyous feeling is tenfold when you go through the arduous journey to acknowledge you are part of the LGBT2SQIA+ family.
Why’s it arduous? How much shame do you encounter when you buy a new home, experience career advancement, or lose weight? I suspect there is none for those life events, yet when you truly become authentic and acknowledge your gender, sexuality, identity, there is a societal shame that comes with that because society doesn’t understand rather than accept you as a human being.
It doesn’t help when societal change is affected by world leaders, and religious groups on the political right who work to exclude anyone, not like them, and we have had a tidal wave of change, hate, and persecution even during the COVID Pandemic.
Of course, you haven’t heard of that, it’s not exactly front-page news that folks are losing hard-earned human rights when millions are at risk due to COVID, and hundreds of thousands are dying.
That’s why this year with reasonable social distancing (not social isolation) requirements in place to prevent further deaths, that Pride means so much yet like all social gatherings are facing the same restrictions. Thankfully that’s not persecution when everyone gets treated the same. Although those that would argue against allowing these events in their communities are gleefully going about their day as it’s a fight they don’t have to do this year, that also applies to the counter-protests of white Pride and straight Pride that have emerged in these last few years.
I will just say here that this writer is confident that there is a second wave of COVID infection rates building as I write this; we don’t learn from history.
When societal expectations force you through threats of unemployment, lack of housing, or preventing you from receiving lifesaving health care just because of how you identify or whom you love, to hide who you are. All fundamental first layer issues of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, threatening your very existence.
While others can celebrate their life accomplishments and walk down the main street holding hands of their soul mate without fear of being assaulted, the need for an event such as Pride is of greater need at this time more than ever.
My dear siblings, what do we do?
Here is a list of 10 ideas for you to consider;
Isolation is an excellent time for glitter!! Feel free to use it sparingly or in abundance as you see fit. Everything looks better with glitter. I am travelling with MAC Cosmetics 2019 Pride Glitter pack.
Read some great LGBT2SQIA+ literature, many excellent writers and stories, both serious, fun, and erotic to select.
Listen to some great music playlists from past Pride celebrations on Apple iTunes or Spotify. Of course, every list must include I am coming out, and YMCA to name but a few.
Wear some pride colours, add it to an outfit, wear an accessory during your next Zoom meeting. I have my Rainbow headband for June that I carry with me.
Have virtual Pride celebrations, they are safer right now, and at least we can still celebrate together.
In locations where limited social interaction can occur, enjoy a gathering of whatever limitations on the number of people are imposed upon you and celebrate being you.
Send notes electronically or on paper to others to let them know you are thinking of them during this time; if you’re an ally send them a letter of support.
Make rainbows if you don’t have them already (I know many of you do have them already) and put them around your personal space to celebrate you!
Write a post as I have and share your Pride!
Be you and dance!! The best celebrations always involve dance when I am in community, and we have so much great music to celebrate!!!
This list I drafted in just a few minutes, I know this community is millions and millions strong, and we are highly creative people. Use that creativity and create your list of 10 ideas to celebrate and recognize Pride and yourself this month.
Happy Pride!! Feliz Orgullo!!
Con Amor y Abrazos en Orgullo