I was told twice this week, in response to social media posts, that Pride Month was not for me and I shouldn’t be as excited as I am to support it. These comments came from people outside the LGBTQ+ community, so I let them roll off as soon as they hit me, but looking back I feel like they are important to address.
It’s true that I am not lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or an otherwise labeled member of the Pride Community in terms of my own gender and sexual identity. But, I am an ally to everyone who is, without hesitation, everyday, no matter what.
Why, you ask?
Because as a cisgender straight white woman I have an inherent kind of undeserved natural privilege in the world, and it is my responsibility to stand up for and defend those that do not.
I didn’t choose to be born with any of the labels assigned to me. I just happen to be in these categories that many would label “normal”…which is not actually a thing.
I didn’t have to wrestle through middle school against the biological realities of a body that did not match my soul. I don’t worry about the security of my job because of who I love. I’ll never wonder if a trip to the bathroom will result in shaming or assault. I have never feared introducing my family to a significant other. (Unless you count that one guy when I lived in Morehead who was a UK fan…but I was the only UofL person out there, so it was kind of unavoidable.)
My life has its own stressors and complications to be sure, but for the most part, I am able to go about my daily routines without thinking that WHO I AM could be a problem that another person would protest in actions or speech.
This is my privilege.
I support Pride Month and the dozens of people in my life who deserve to live their truths proudly every day because I have the opportunity to advocate for them in spaces where their own voices may not always be welcomed.
I support Pride Month by opening our Yes Louisville platform to partnership with Kentuckiana Pride to show that we value all of our neighbors and encourage the whole community to attend and celebrate with them. It was one of the best times I’ve had as a writer to go backstage at Play and hear about the incredible life journey of Gilda Wabbit while she and the other drag performers prepared for a Friday night on the stage. Sharing the story of people like her is a joy and showing our community how much her story adds to our collective value as a city is an honor.
I support Pride Month because one of the greatest joys of my life was performing the wedding of two of my very best guy friends in the world. Their relationship happens to be healthier, happier, and a better model of human partnership than 80% of my heterosexually normative friends. I look up to them and am so grateful that I will always have their support, accountability, and love.
I support Pride and attend the events because when we physically show up for each other we make a difference. This year’s Pride Parade had a record attendance, proving that when we are there for each other, we make it a safer space for everyone to celebrate.
I support Pride Month because we are all human and it is the right thing to do.
I also love celebrating diversity, inclusion, and compassion…and doing it in vibrant style. Pride, like my beloved Mardi Gras, embraces everyone with a glitter-filled spirit of joy, and I adore the festive recognition of the long fought for freedom and beautiful self-love that are at its core.
So, to everyone who told me that Pride is not mine. You are correct that I have never fought for myself in the way members of the LGBTQ+ community have and continue to fight for their lives, but I fight beside them, because I am forever proudly ALLIED.