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 of 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. 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 physical distancing (not social isolation) requirements in place to prevent further deaths, that Pride means so much.