Wednesday, June 28, 2017

NYC Pride 2017

Happy almost-last day of National Pride Month! I was so excited to be able to celebrate Pride this month in the very city in which the movement largely started. I even got to watch the parade just a couple blocks from The Stonewall Inn. The historical significance of my experience was hugely momentous for me.

I've been to pride celebrations before, but this was a whole new experience. For one, NYC Pride was much bigger than Seattle Pride. For another, going to Pride as someone who recognizes themselves as existing within the LGBTQ+ community is an entirely different experience than going as a perceived ally. When I went a couple years ago, I was in the middle of my "I'm committed to a man, why does it matter if I'm attracted to other genders?" phase, and didn't carve out space to truly be proud of the movement and what it's done in the last 50 or so years. Now that I've taken the time and energy to really get to know myself, acknowledging each and every person around me and their role in the fight for our rights was overwhelming. I saw so much love, so much self-love, so much PRIDE everywhere I looked. I'm not going to lie: seeing the love and support in this community moved me to tears several times during the day. We still have work to do, particularly in decolonizing the LGBTQ+ community and including the fight for rights beyond marriage equality in our agenda, but I couldn't help but admire how far those who've come before me have pushed. I wouldn't be able to write this post without the work, blood, sweat, tears, and passion of the people (especially the trans WOC) on whose backs the modern LGBTQ+ movement was built.

I'm still fairly new to the LGBTQ+ community. In many ways, I still don't feel like I belong. Sure, I've always known I don't just like men, but I have to admit that I've internalized a LOT of biphobia throughout my life that I didn't know about until I started thinking about outing myself to people. "Am I any less of a member of the LGBTQ+ community," I ask myself, "because I've only ever seriously dated men? How will I defend myself to those who think women my age kiss other women/femmes 'for the attention?' Do I look the part? Do I act the part? How can I bring someone other than a cis man home after setting that as the norm for myself? Will people think I'm going through a phase? AM I going through a phase?" 

I'm still working to unlearn many of these implicit biases (just as I'm working to unlearn all of my implicit biases). I keep reminding myself how lucky I am to have family and friends who supported me without question when I told them that I'm bisexual. I'm incredibly privileged to not have experienced discrimination based on my sexuality and to even have been allowed space to talk about myself and my experiences. As I move forward to learn more about my role in the LGBTQ+ community, I hope to use my privilege to the benefit of the rest of my community.

No comments :

Post a Comment