Monday, 4 July 2016

Why We Need Pride

I waited to write this post so I could do it without a red cloud of anger clouding my judgement - but you might have seen that I absolutely lost my shit over on Twitter last week over a supposed Heterosexual Pride Day. A lot of people were on this hashtag defending it - they want equality, why don't we want them to have equality? If we, as an LGBTQIA+ community get a pride day, then why shouldn't the heterosexual community? So, this post tackles why exactly the LGBTQIA+ community needs pride so much, and why the heterosexual community doesn't, on the whole.

Pride comes from a place of celebration, of course it does - but pride for the LGBTQIA+ community also comes from a place of overcoming fear. Many of us face fear on an every day basis; we need pride because most of us have been too scared to hold someone's hands in the street, we have wept over hate crime after hate crime in the news knowing that in another world these things happening to our brothers and sisters could just as easily be happening to us, or our friends, or our partners. We need pride because when people shout out to us as part of a couple in the street, we all too often assume that it will be to say something negative, and we're all too often right.

We need pride because whether or not we should be able to marry, have children, use the bathroom we identify with best are still not choices that we are allowed to make for ourselves in many places in the world; we need pride because many people don't see that this is an issue. We need pride because people think it's okay to ask about our genitalia, sexual preferences; all things you wouldn't feel comfortable asking someone outside the LGBTQIA+ community. We need pride because many of our gender identities, sexuality identifications and relationships are considered phases, not to be taken seriously.

We need pride because it breaks my heart to see people in our community cast out by their families and their friends purely because of who they are and who they love - we need pride because people see us celebrating and immediately wonder why they aren't allowed to be a part of this, and what's in it for them. We need pride because there are still people out there who think the inequality falls on the heterosexual side, that by denying them a pride we aren't allowing them to be equal, without realising equality is what we strive for - in that we want to be equal with the benefits that they have.

We need pride - because we celebrate heterosexual and cisgender as society's "normal" every single day; and by doing so we make anyone who falls outside of this heteronormative bracket feel as though they don't belong. We need pride because it's the one day a year in many of our cities that we feel comfortable, and moreover proud, for being exactly who we are; without judgement, without fear.

We need pride because we are taught so often that we should not be proud of the people that we are. We need pride.

Sammy xo.

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