I have mixed feelings about Pride Month, if I'm completely honest. I think it's important to celebrate marginalized identities and provide safe spaces to do so. I think it's important to recognize the past of the queer community and the sheer radical nature of our forebears. I think it's important to remind those who would grind us down that we are here to stay.
But it also feels suffocating in a way. It's a time when a lot of people tend to boil down their identities to their queerness. Which, I mean, I understand--for plenty of folks, it's the one time they can feel safe embracing that part of them. But I've never liked to present myself as just this one thing. Yes, I'm queer, but I'm also a creative and a nerd and all these other labels.
Of course, there's also the issue of a lot of corporations jumping on the bandwagon and throwing rainbows on everything without actually supporting the queer community. And it's the time of year homo- and transphobes crawl out of the woodwork to complain and argue our existence even more often than normal.
There's a pressure--at least one that I perceive--to attend events and slather myself in rainbows, or else I'm not proud of my identity. And, as an introvert with claustrophobia in a an environment that feels unsafe, that's extremely frustrating. Similar to the issue of having few places to socialize outside of queer bars--if it's not your place, you're SoL.
I don't have a better solution to celebrating our identities and our past. But I do want to leave with some encouragement:
This month can be a mess of feelings for a lot of people. But we're going to make it through, y'all. You're going to be okay.
Nonir is a queer pagan nerd and writes about various things in those realms.