Pride Takes Time: Our guest blogger’s experience of being queer

Our guest blogger shares their experience of being queer, connecting with the queer community, and the importance of representation and wanting to be seen “in the in-between”. Please note, this blog post acknowledges queerphobic acts of violence.

Pride takes time because pride is a protest.

Pride takes time because being queer can be hard in this difficult world.

Despite knowing my queerness for a fair amount of time, this is the first year I feel connected to pride. This is also the first year I’ve felt connected to the queer community, which I didn’t know was crucial to my mental health and wellbeing.

I didn’t know how freeing it was to connect with queer people. There’s an immediate sense of ease and flow I’ve not experienced elsewhere. I can’t explain it, but if you know, you know. I have to be in queer spaces regularly now. It’s like being able to take a breath after holding it too long. They’re not just queer spaces either. They’re holistic spaces, where most of the time there’s an understanding of our whole self and how that interacts with the world.

And if you don’t know this feeling yet, that’s okay too. I’ve spent a long time trying to find spaces and events that aren’t overwhelming. I don’t always get on with everything. The great thing about being queer is that queer people are passionate about what they love. We know we need play, safety, and joy. We will provide it for each other so that we can all find what works and what doesn’t.

I spent a long time thinking my queerness didn’t matter, that I could cover it up to be accommodating. I can’t pretend I still don’t do this. As a trans person, there’s a fine line between being accommodating and being safe. I still use my birthname and the assumed pronouns that goes with it in medical settings. But no longer at work, even if I don’t know how others might feel about it. I wish it could be different.

Some of my ability to do this is our awareness of queer and trans lives, alongside the continued fight for them. At this time, I can’t say there’s a good sense of acceptance and safety. The world can be frightening for those on the sidelines and those of us that intersect in those sidelines. I get so much strength from all of us in the fight. We have always been here; we will always be here.

My body, trans bodies, are not a threat. Our biggest issue is one of survival and trying not to be k*lled, not the media obsession with which toilets we use.

I have found the eating disorder space very isolating and lacking representation in lots of ways. Each year we get the same message, eating disorders are extremely prevalent among the LGBTQIA+ community. So where are we all? Why are we not among the dominant narrative? I also struggle with this as a disabled person, where concepts of health are far from straightforward. I get why we want the nice shiny stories of how much better everything is, the beautiful Instagram life that’s meant to be on the other side.

But that’s not the reality for so many of us. It is a binary representation, bad life into good life. I am in the in-between and I want to be seen. I don’t know everything about my queerness yet and perhaps I never will. I don’t feel there’s a rush and I’m not sure we every have one concrete self for our entire lives. There are seasons but we can’t guarantee if June will be stable or stormy. There can be struggle alongside joy in pride. There probably should still be struggle in our pride, in our lives.

Because…

No pride for some of us without liberation for all of us.

Marsha P. Johnson

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