What does Pride mean to me? It’s a hard thing to pin down, it feels like a fluid thing, a journey rather than a destination.
Growing up in a society where heteronormative and cisgendered identity is affirmed and anything ‘other’ is often stigmatised and marginalised can have devastating impact on a person’s sense of self. Navigating a heteronormative and binary world as a queer person often requires survival techniques to get you through. There’s a lot of shame around the LGBT community that’s been handed to us both explicitly and implicitly, from family, faith communities and society at large. That shame gets internalised and we become our own worst inner critic.
Pride is a journey about learning to be kind to yourself, to dismantle the unhelpful ways we treat ourselves.
Studies from across the world show that the LGBT community reports disproportionately high levels of depression, anxiety, addiction, poor body image, self harm & suicide ideation. Pride isn’t about putting up a rainbow flag once a year – it’s about commitment to changing the statistics in those studies.
It’s also about just living a boring everyday life being yourself; the same as anyone else!
My Pride Month recommendation, to follow on from JP’s (which I think everyone should watch) is also by Hannah Gadsby. It’s called ‘Douglas’.