Ever since I was a teenager I have celebrated pride month. Whether that has been passed out drunk at a huge world event or just a garden gathering with friends. Every year has been different, always filled with love and laughter, friends, family and pride. This year, will be no exception! Whether there are parades and parties or not, Pride month will always be about celebrating equality, this seems more relevant today, than ever before.
The recent protests for Black Lives Matter has definitely made me think about how racism, discrimination and segregation is still a huge problem in our world. When you think about LGBTQ and Black people being discriminated against you automatically think back twenty years! You definitely don't think about your local police department, your corner shop, your number seven bus driver or your next door neighbour, but it is still REAL, its still happening and it happens right under our noses.
One thing that has always got on my nerves is when people say 'Why is there not a straight pride'.There isn't a straight pride because straight people don’t need to fight for their right to get married or to have children, they also don't need to be wary of holding hands in public or to defend their right to being in a relationship with whoever they want to be. They don't get shot for the sex of the person they love or hung for holding their hand, they don't have to riot and plead for basic human rights, or worry about their rights and protection being taken from them.
Straight people haven't had to lie to their parents about their 'friend' from school staying over because they know it wont be allowed otherwise, they haven't had to spend weeks, months or even years thinking of ways to 'come out' to their family and friends, becoming depressed or even suicidal with worry about how it will be taken. Straight people also haven't had their Grandparents introduce their partner as a friend because they are embarrassed of their Gay Grandchild, they also haven't been sat down and told that they are going through a phase or that they are looking for attention! No one just hates people because they're straight, being straight, its a privilege that is taken for granted.
So this is why we have a Pride month, this is why we celebrate being who we are for four weeks of the year, we put away our fears and remember the brave, black, transgender woman, who made a stand and asked people to stand with her when the police raided a Gay Bar, The Stonewall Inn in New York City in 1968. They rioted, they stood up for the first time for equality and for their basic human rights.
We go down to the parade with our friends, our family and our children, we shout out about who we are, dress up in rainbow colours and we wave our flags, for that one month of the year we feel that we are accepted and united and we feel the strength in our community.
For me, Pride helped me to come out of the closet, it made me realise that I was ALLOWED to have children, I was ALLOWED to get married, I was ACCEPTED as a lesbian woman and I was ALLOWED to love whoever I wanted, with every proud bit of my heart.
This year will be a little different after the covid pandemic and the needed focus on BLM movement, but like those events, I will flood my social media with rainbows, hashtags and hope. I will spam my Instagram with posts of my beautiful family, my Son who will always be proud that he has two Mums, and all of the local, the small and the mega businesses who have created, donated and supported us, reminding us that being proud of who we are is a human right in itself.
We still have a long way to go, as a family, as a community, as a country and as an gay person in 2020, but for now, we will celebrate, we will hold the hands of our black friends, we will march alongside them and show them that we are all equal. we are all accepted and we are all Human.
Happy Pride month from my family to yours!