This weekend many members of the LGBT+ community are celebrating Pride. Despite struggles and some setbacks, the LGBT+ community has made incredible strides in pursuit of equality in the last few years. The current White House occupant has inspired and motivated many hateful people in the United States (though, I actually don’t think Trump has a problem with the LGBT+ community… or even really cares about social issues at all), but the tide is turning. Freedom and radical individuality where we each get to peacefully pursue happiness, have relationships, and identify as who wish is growing. Overall, things are looking up.
To be honest, I am torn about how to celebrate or participate in Pride. One one hand, I want to change my profile picture because my sexuality does have a little kink in it. My sexual fluidity, polyamory, and BDSM interest is part of who I am and something I am not ashamed of it (I do recognize that the latter too are not as applicable for Pride). I also want to show solidarity with those in the LGBT+ community that may not be in a privileged position where they can vocalize who they are. I want to continue to show support and raise my freak flag for those that can’t. I’m in a position where I won’t lose my residence, my job, or face violence by being who I am (part of that is because I can “pass” – see below).
But, I also don’t want Pride to be about me. Having a bunch of white, cis, male, straight-passing people running around with some self-congratulatory signaling feels strange to me. It also feels inappropriate to celebrate the progress that I haven’t worked towards. I think we should be primarily proud of things we do and I haven’t done anything to really help the cause. I have a similar issue with people who are “proud” to be American… pride in a geographic location that you’re born in that has not created any problems for you makes me roll my eyes pretty hard. I haven’t really faced struggles based on my sexuality so taking pride in it feels strange.
So I’m torn. Do I publicly celebrate Pride as an individual or do I spend my time sharing the stories and experiences of others? Do I change my profile picture as a show of support and to show I’m not ashamed of who I am, or do I stay in the background to prevent taking attention away from others? I don’t know… I really don’t know.