You might be asking yourself, Where do I fit in? at Pride:
It’s June, the month of Pride! But where do you fit in? There’s a wide berth of niches and groups to tuck yourself neatly into. The mouthful of 2SLGBPTQIA+ (often truncated as LGBT) has been referred to as “alphabet soup”. But it is certainly a revered acronym. Standing for 2 Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual/Aromantic and + “a denotation of everything on the gender and sexuality spectrum that letters and words can’t yet describe.” (Gold, 2018)
How you identify is personal. You need not share it with anyone, or you may be excited to share it with everyone! Transitioning from one sexual identity to another is not uncommon — sometimes it takes the right moment, the right word, or the right people for us to realize exactly who we are and how to show up as our true selves.
I get to wave my blue, pink and yellow flag every year now. It used to be blue, purple and pink, but then I learned a new term that better fit who I am and how I interact with the world. Sometimes it takes time to adopt new terminology, but for me it was instantaneous — “Oh yeah, that’s the word I’ve been looking for all these years!”
It’s good to know the history of the event, The First Pride…
You’ve probably heard the words somewhere that “The first pride was a riot.” This is an important moment from history to be commemorated each year.
According to Wikipedia, “The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous demonstrations by members of the gay community in response to a police raid that began in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighbourhood of Lower Manhattan in New York City.”
The anniversary of the event began being marked by Pride marches around the US each year on June 28. In honour of the Stonewall riots, we continue to celebrate each June. We are here to remember where our freedoms and rights originated — in the hands of a Trans woman who simply would not back down. Even handcuffed as she was, the shout that started everything was simple, “Why don’t you guys do something?”
There is much to be learned from the event and those now immemorial words. For more information check out this History channel article.
Next you might wonder How do I celebrate? at Pride:
When it comes to Pride events, the more happy bodies, the better — if you are a member of the community and feel safe to come celebrate, then that’s what you should do! If you are a friend or ally and want to show your support, coming out for a Pride event is still encouraged — there is room for your support and joy! Just be sure to read the invite for the event you want to attend — some may be exclusive, but most will be open to the public. Don your merry rainbow colours and have a joyous time!
However, if Pride is not something you can abide, then the best option for you is to stay home, or go to another event you feel better aligns with your viewpoint. Something like, a HomeShow, CarShow, or AirShow perhaps?
It’s especially imperative to question How to remain respectful? at Pride:
If you don’t fall into the alphabet soup, a good moto is to ask before you touch or if you want to take individual photos (if you can). If you are new to Pride, the best option is to go with a friend, or group of friends who have been before. That way, questions can be answered live and on the spot. Stay respectful, no matter who is on the other side.
Which leads nicely into, Will there be protesters? at Pride:
The sad truth is, yes, there probably will. Pride is a protest against the unethical and oppressive treatment of 2SLGBTPQIA+ people. Amazingly, to me, there are many people who think that it is okay to hate us, or wish we didn’t exist, or that we’d all quietly climb back in the closet and not disrupt their perfect world.
If you are attending Pride specifically to be a force against those protesters, be sure you take care of yourself and be as safe as possible. Knowing your rights is an important part of your ability to stay safe. This Guide by the Ontario Federation of Labour can help answer some of your questions about the Canadian legal system. Also, this Pride Protest Resource is from the US, but contains many great tips to follow. Check it out and again, be as safe as you can be!
If you are attending Pride but not wanting to be part of the protest, there are many wonderful events in cities all over the province, so check out your local boards/groups and find one that fits your style. Just know, a protest can break out at any event — some protesters are heartless and relentless. You might like to check out the Guide or the Resource even if you don’t think you will need them.
If you have any more questions, feel free to reach out and I will do my best to answer. Please enjoy Pride 2022 responsibly!