cw: references to specific & community violence
I came out as queer about six years ago. Time is fuzzy, quarantine life has messed with my internal timeline, but I think it was about six years ago. It was probably more like seven, but I was allll the way out about five months before I got married to my trans spouse and then later in our relationship I had many Gender Realizations and now I’ve been on a low dose of testosterone for several years and am living a genderqueer life, which is a thing I’m trying to cling to in order to remind myself that it’s not all terrible and bad.
Pride month was such a revelation for me when I was newly out — a whole month for us to celebrate each other, to show up as ourselves no matter what, to rejoice in what makes us US.
But the rainbow-washing of brands and empty political promises and actual existential threats (it’s a trip when your worst fears become actualized fears) makes Pride month SO DIFFICULT as a queer person, at least for me.
I like rainbow-themed merch as much as anyone else that likes rainbow-themed merch, and I certainly have bought more unicorn-themed items than I expected to so far in my lifetime, but I don’t need a rainbow with my french fries and I don’t need color blocked fake ally shit in all the marketing emails I get. It’s gross. It makes me want to be invisible. Don’t notice me, please, I really don’t want you to throw rainbows around while screaming about how much you love us, when we all know that in July you’ll clean up the confetti and forget about it until next year’s Pride Month Content Creation planning meeting (the one where you might accidentally remember that there’s also an important June 19th holiday for people that aren’t you).
I would rather live in a world where people aren’t regularly being mass murdered with guns, and where politicians shut the fuck up and do their fucking jobs. I would rather have inclusive healthcare for trans kids and adults, and for none of us to worry what the next political knife at our throats will be. I want us all to have enough to eat, and stable housing. I want the police — all of them — to quit their jobs and find something to do that helps and sustains the communities they live in. I want accountability. I want change. I want rainbows that remind us to smile and recall how much we love each other, not rainbows that are held up in defiance against everyone that hates us.
Don’t recognize us unless you actually do, please.