Why World Pride Matters
Friends of mine live in one of the world’s largest refugee camps in the world, in Block 13, Kakuma, Kenya. They fled Uganda due to persecution because of their sexuality and/or gender and have landed in a country where homosexuality is illegal. They face daily discrimination and violence from other refugees and authrorities.
Until all humans are free from persecution due to race, sexuality and gender then World Pride matters.
It matters for people to gather from around the world and take pride in and celebrate our sameness and our diversity in the LGBTQIA+ community.
Coming out is often an ongoing process in a hetero-normative world where people assume you are heterosexual or cis-gendered until you say you’re not. Queer people can experience a break in belonging and displacement on the level of family, social networks, society at large. Family of origin can be a space of constraint or discrimination. Many queer people create a chosen family of peers as a result.
My father is not speaking to me.
I’ve been cut off from my family.
I can no longer live at home.
These are common stories among LGBTQIA+ people. Dealing with homophobia/transphobia is often experienced within family of origin and is not a shared experience within the family unit. When dealing with racism, people often find support within family where they have shared experience. When racism and homophobia/transphobia intersect, this can cause even more friction.
Like any phobia, homophobia/transphobia is a fear based conversation. Fear based conversations are often based on myths, lies, untruths, misconceptions and assumptions. They are rarely, if ever, based in reality.
Why having a safe space to get your questions answered as an ally matters.
Many questions and concerns can remain unresolved and as a result, get in the way of being able to be there for others, including people who you love. People who have a family member who comes out, deal with their own challenges. A common challenge includes having had less time to digest this information. In the process of coming out, we’ve often had much more time to get used to the idea and consider how to approach the conversation. While we’d love everyone’s reactions to be one of celebration and support, this is not always the case.
Concerns family can have about LGBTQIA members of the family:
- It seems like she’s doing it to fit in or because it’s trendy
- Maybe it’s just a phase
- She doesn’t know who she is, she’s my child, I know who she is
- When we talk about it, she uses political rhetoric to turn on me. I don’t like it. We used to be close, now there’s distance.
- Is she dominating me?
- Am I being manipulated?
- Am I ignorant like he says? Or just dumb?
- If they are trans, I feel deceived. I thought she was a woman and I can see now she’s not.
Here are some questions to ponder when dealing with these concerns:
What if sexuality and gender identity was something that people were free to individually explore and whatever they are identifying with or expressing in any given moment was not a reflection on you as a parent or family member?
What if sexuality and gender identity was a journey, and important areas of life that human beings are able to explore?
What if sexuality and gender indentity were not a threat to you as a person? What if you could give others way more room to explore themselves and be themselves and not take that personally? In other words, it doesn’t mean anything about you and who you are. What would that make available for you?
What if you took the case that all children (including yourself when you were a child) dominate and manipulate their parents? If all of their resources come through us, then they have to get what they want through us – just like we did to our parents. This dynamic is not specific to sexuality or gender identity. It’s called being a parent 🙂
What if you took the case that you don’t know everything there is to know about the conversation around sexuality and gender? Would you be willing to discover more?
What if someone being trans has nothing to do with you? What if you took the case that whether they were assigned female or male or intersex at birth is not a comment on your ability to read someone’s gender?
What if the conversation we have all inherited about gender and growing up within two binary distinctions of gender have constrained us all, including you? Have you been the perfect ‘man’ or the perfect ‘woman’? Perhaps that conversation doesn’t serve us anymore… Could you be willing to let it go and give up being right for the possibility of having affinity with otherl human beings on the planet? Would you rather be right or be happy and experience being connected with others?
Thank you for considering these questions and I hope you enjoy the inquiry and never land on a definitive answer. Stay open and true to what really matters to you.
Yours in the spirit of pride,
The King Coach and founder of Queer & Tantric
If you want to hear more from Danica, join us on Thursday 16th February for our event in homage of World Pride.
This event will include a panel and a safe, informative space for people to ask anything they want to, with the opportunity to learn more about the LGBTIQA+ and for those that care about allyship.
Ask any questions in advance to our amazing panel who are willing to answer anything. No topic is off the cards and everyone is welcome.
Come along for a night of thought provoking discussion, performances, food, drinks and networking. And by buying a ticket, you’ll be supporting our LGBTQIA+ friends living in Block 13, Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya.