Happy Pride friends. Before we get started, let me preface this thought-piece (that was the first word that came to mind and I’m rolling with it) with: if you are looking for a feel-good-pat-our-backs Pride piece, take your broke-a** home. [sorry (not sorry), I’m currently listening to Fergie, and couldn’t not add that in there.] If you haven’t gathered already, my writing style is conversational and oftentimes light. Please do not let that distract you from the fact that I am asking you to throw your perception of Pride out the window and burn the status quo to the ground.
Now crank the tunes and let’s dive into why I am here writing and why you’re here reading. If you’ve made it this far, you’re already aware that it is Pride month (nice!). What may be less apparent to the average passerby, is the huge divide within the lGbtq community. You may be thinking.. Chris, you idiot, you forgot to capitalize the l, the b, the t, and the q! I make mistakes all the time, this happens to not be one of those times. To make my point painfully obvious, so much progress has been made. Gay marriage (hi, my name’s Chris, and I like long walks on the beach, I’m single, and I promise I’m not always this cheesy), mainstream acceptance of Gay culture, and most recently the freedom to be open in the workplace without the fear of getting fired. This is all extremely fantastic, but many of my Trans siblings have been left behind, overshadowed by corporate rainbows and white Gay men. Far from fantastic, pretty distractions and unattainable standards have created LGBTQ spaces that aren’t safe spaces for those who are in most need of said spaces. According to a study conducted by The National Center for Transgender Equality, 40% of Transgender adults have reported attempting suicide. This is unacceptable. Let me repeat that. This is unacceptable. Now let me circle back to the last sentence of the first paragraph. It’s time to burn the status quo to the ground.
It is 2020 – gone are the times of leaving people behind. Black Lives Matter. Trans Lives Matter. (Let me paint the scene.. I am now standing on my desk. Fergie is no longer playing. Joan Jett is now blasting. There is nothing particularly Queer about Joan, but man, idk it feels right.) I will be the first to admit that I am part of the problem, but the magic in this statement is that acknowledging this gives me the power to be part of the solution.
I would be delusional to think that a simple blog post written by a caffeinated-af white man with much to learn is anything close to a solution, but I stand in front of you now vowing to do better. Listen more. Amplify Black voices. Lift up my Trans peers. I stand in front of you emploring you to do the same. Happy Pride. Pride is a riot. Pride is creating a better future. Now it’s time for me to stop talking and leave you with sources on how to be an Ally Accomplice.
Written by Chris Wakefield