Pride month ends today but our stories continue.
I am a stereotype. I suppose we all are, but my particular labels – suburban, white, privileged, heterosexual, cisgender (I don’t even know if that’s the right word) – make me feel ill-equipped and, on some level, sheepish to talk about Pride month and the experiences of the LGBTQ+ community. Why? Because what the hell do I know about what it’s like to live in this world as someone who, in the face of all the current social norms and unfair judgments, has to fight just to be who they are and love who they love without fear?
Here’s an inarguable truth in my mind: All humans should feel free and safe to be who they are and love who they love.
June 2022 is about to end and with it the end of Pride Month around the world. I love how this month shines a light on love, acceptance and the right of every person to feel safe and free to be who they are and love who they love.
Our team got together to acknowledge it in our own way. We had a discussion. We shared our thoughts and feelings. We took a photo. And none of us think that’s enough.
What more can we do? We can be open, curious and supportive. We can carry on the conversation and we can commit to doing more to support the LGBTQ+ community in June and the other 335 days of the year. Here is our commitment – each personal and individual.
I believe love is love and we all deserve the freedom to live and love how we choose. I also have so little experience with this. I commit to openness and curiosity. To seek to understand and shine a light on the good. – Mary
Someone told me the other day that I’m opinionated when it comes to current events. I don’t think they meant it as a compliment, but I’m choosing to look at it that way. I care about the issues. A lot. Even the ones that don’t affect me directly. I want to do my part to raise awareness and erase misconceptions about the communities who haven’t always felt seen and understood. I’m a human being and I want to support other human beings anyway I can. And if that means being seen as opinionated, bring it on. – Lone
Five years ago I began my journey exploring gender inclusivity and access. A library of information resides at the front of my brain. I commit to reaching in, staying updated as identities evolve, sharing my key learnings with others and finding opportunities to help audiences connect and feel welcome to engage on any channel. Imagine a world of more love, authenticity, genuinity and organic conversation. That’s a world of colour. – Megan
Everyone is entitled to live an authentic life and to love who we love without judgement. It really is that simple. One day the whole world will catch up to this. I truly believe that. Until then, we will count on the heroes that have the strength to come out to their family, friends, community and the world to move this forward and support those who are struggling. To make loving who you love the beautiful thing it is. I have faith we will get there and will speak out for it at every opportunity. – Donna
As a little exercise, I did a quick dictionary.com search for the definition of Pride, and it started with this:
“the state or feeling of being proud”.
A further definition:
“a becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one’s position or character…”
“a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.”
Well that’s a bit better. ‘Dignity…merit…cherished in the mind’. Seems pretty simple to me- a ‘straight’ gal equipped with the perspective of a Person of White Privilege (PoWP- can we spread that one around and make it a trendy acronym?).
And finally, the one that is the main purpose of this post:
“celebration of a specific minority group and affirmation of equal rights for members of that community”
THIS. The original dictionary definition, evolved. Now we’re talking. We need to validate and normalize the ‘specific minority groups’. Embrace the differences and uniqueness, and allow humans the freedom to love who they love, unconditionally and without stigma and shame…in June, and every other month of the year. I commit to continuing to embrace the evolving human race, and allow for every individual to be their authentic self, free of judgement. I commit to keeping the conversation going, and being proud to do so. – Jodie
Pride is more than a celebration to me. It’s a clear reminder of where the LGBTQ+ movement started and where we are today. As much as there are so many massively positive steps, there is still discrimination happening in the world and it’s our job to eliminate the stigmas so that future generations can live in a world full of acceptance and love. It motivates me to raise my children to understand that love is love and the gender identification of the person does not matter. – Kristin
It’s important to celebrate LGBTQ2S+ Pride all year long. What a beautiful opportunity for us to encounter different people and experiences. The key is to view through a lens of non-judgement – this is what I choose to model for my young kids. I want them to encounter people different from themselves and be curious to learn, not wary of the unknown. It’s my mission to raise kind, compassionate allies who will step up to help someone in need, regardless of how they identify themselves. We get a new chance to learn and expand our point of view EVERY DAY – how incredible is that?!
Pride month is not only a great way to explore the prominent voices, events and art of the LGBTQ2S+ community, but can start an ongoing conversation about why the celebrations matter, and how we can align to support the efforts of the community. – Linda
Pride is a reminder to hold space and love for those who are discriminated against, to uplift the voices of those who have been silenced, and to stand up to bigotry, hate, and exclusion. As a CIS gendered white woman, pride is a reminder of all the privilege I hold, and of how important it is to use that privilege to stand up and fight for the rights of everyone, until we all achieve equity and inclusion. This fight has a long way to go, and on this journey it is important to remember to always be open to learning and changing and growing with our beliefs- Bryn
Huge gratitude and admiration for the brave people in the world stepping up and standing out for you who are and showing us how the world is better with all of us – just as we are. We celebrate you.