With it being June, it’s Pride month and there’ll be various events online and otherwise from LGBTQ+ organisations around the world.
For anyone asking why do we need a month for people to be proud of who they are, I would say you only need to look at the news and at recent history. The documentary on Netflix called Hating Peter Tatchell or Amazon Prime’s Disclosure would be excellent places to start if you’re interested in recent history, IMO. The 1970s might have been an age away, yet the laws and attitudes of that time cast a long shadow. One that still, sadly, touches us.
So am I moaning about the past? No, organisations – from ‘charities’, pressure groups, think tanks, etc – are actively involved in trying to roll back the hard won rights of LGBTQ+ people. They lost on marriage equality and now – perhaps like the typical pattern of bullies – are rounding on a group who can’t fight back. Trans people and indeed kids. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s the same tired playbook that people tried against the LGB community in the 80s. It was BS then and we should know better.
The Ever Lovely Mrs J said there had been a discussion at work on books and research, specifically that of freedom to publish. A colleague had asked – in the spirit of debate, not to promote – what about gender critical views? My beautiful partner asked how might we feel if we swapped the word gender for Jew, Muslim, woman, black, immigrant, etc? What might we think of the other person expressing that line? I would think most people would consider them to be a tw** 😛 Yet, right now, we have people given a voice in the media and in government who peddle lies and discrimination. That’s why we need Pride.
Even for armchair part timers like, Pride matters. I might not have the situation to let me go on a march, but to see people being themselves and being okay about who they are, that’s awesome. Plus, we’re not taking anything away from anyone. We’re just being us. It’s not like there’s less marriage licences now we’ve got some equality in that area.
"Aw, I'm sorry, we've just used the last of our marriage certificates. That's it until a new crop blooms next year!" 😉
So, for those of us who are a bit out, not out at all, or who can’t make an event, what can we do?
Donate: give a few quid to a LGBTQ+ charity of your choice. Mermaids UK perhaps? Stonewall? It’s entirely up to you and your preference.
Kindness: be supportive of LGBTQ+ people. Be interested in what they say, listen to their words, and if someone rolls out some evil guff, politely push back on that. Your experiences are valid and someone else’s view does not trump your lived reality.
Be yourself: wait, what? Being true to yourself to the best of what you can right now, that’s an act of rebellion. By choosing to accept yourself, you are moving forward. If you are open with friends, if you’re going out, if you’re online, if you are supporting others: you are making a difference.
Keep on being amazing. You have every right to be proud. ♥️