So I sit here and stare at the screen, trying to decide to approach this month of Pride. I mean, exploring my thoughts about being neurospicy, in the journey to getting my kids the help they need is easy. This is something I’ve fought for for a long time, and will *always* fight for the accommodations that my gothlings need, hell anyone else needs. In that same way it’s somewhat easy to approach Pride, though the parallels and worse in the…political aspect that’s trying to hijack the governing body give me brief pause. That makes me reflect on the past, and dig into some of those darker corners a bit.
For a long *long* time I stuffed being queer, being pansexual, and being polyamorous down, hiding it. For a lot of reasons. All of them pushed by societal expectations of being ‘normal’: a ‘normal’ parent, a ‘normal’ student, have ‘normal’ relationships. To the point that I nearly drank the koolaide as it were.
Man, am I glad I didn’t.
This is where a lot of people don’t get it, don’t understand how really damaging it is to hide a LOT of who you are. The effort that goes into trying to conform to what others think you should be is exhausting. Nerve-wracking. It cracks your soul. There’s a whole lot of truth in the suicide rates for LGBTQIA+.
There’s danger in being yourself too. Current politics have made more than one state in the US a rather literal death sentence to be gay. To be trans. To be anything other than what some other person decided to put on your birth certificate. To love anyone other than that one, single opposite identification.
That? That’s terrifying. It’s worse when it’s not only you in the crosshairs of the political machine. I mean the fact that there’s another Underground Railroad, this time sheltering trans folx out of certain states is utterly boggling. The most sobering thought I have with that is that we live in a state where, while not happening now (dumbfoundingly, we’re in a relatively safe state as far as LGBTQIA+ rights and liberties), my family is in no way ready to scoot should we need to.
Trivially and disappointingly, this also rules out Disney World and Epcot Center for a potential future vacation…and also off my bukkit list. A felony for breathing is a bit more than I’m willing to pay for that.
Side note, cheering on a mega-corporation is weird y’all.
I joke a lot right now, but it’s the only way I keep from living in constant low-key fight or flight. A lot of us queer folx are doing the same thing, joking. But really, we’re scared as fuck, and ANGRY. So damned angry that we are having to fight to exist, to not be literally hung for being genuine, being proud of who we are that it’s maddening. So we joke. We jest, and we prepare. We communicate, and we help who needs it when we can. We stay safe, and try to keep others safe.
This month Pride really hits me hard with history. These days Pride is a celebration. Fairs in parks, parades. Families bringing their kids, and teens pulling their bewildered and a little lost parents around. That’s what Pride SHOULD be. Celebrating the sacrifices of the past, and how far we’ve come. Experiencing and learning for those with family members that have just come out, or maybe someone’s exploring, figuring themselves out. More than anything Pride should be community.
This year it can’t be. Too many are in actual literal mortal danger. Too many states are trying to take away “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” from people that are just. Like. Me.
This year I remember that Pride began with a riot, and a brick thrown by a black trans woman. Thank you Marsha P. Johnson. We need to remember that standing up for our rights is necessary for us to continue having them, and for our kids to have them going forward.