As you're probably aware from the rainbow flag reaction on Facebook and the array of LGBTQA+ good news stories in the past month, June was the worldwide celebration of Pride. If you have been living under a rock, Pride is the annual event whereby commemorations are made to recognise the impact that LGBTQA+ people have had in the world.
It’s been fifty years since homosexuality was decriminalised, and since then laws have changed for the better to accept civil partnerships, the right for same-sex couples to adopt, and gay marriage. Although many of those who celebrate Pride can’t remember a time when it was illegal to be gay, everyone who is capable of human emotion can appreciate the huge strides that the community has made - and still continue to make - for same-sex love and relationships to be socially accepted.
I’m not an ignorant person; I’m not living in a world completely of unicorns, trust and pixie dust. I know that it has been a tough year, particularly in the past couple of months for the global LGBTQA+ community. What with the kidnapping of Chechnya’s homosexuals by their autocratic leader, Trump failing to celebrate Pride with an official proclamation (unlike his predecessor Obama who made a welcoming declaration yearly), and the Tory-DUP deal bringing fear of facist control over women’s bodies and the inability for homosexuals to legally marry; all of this is enough to horrify the world enough to want to quit civilisation, move to a deserted island and become friends with sea creatures.
However, despite the bad, Humpday is here to celebrate the growing strength that Pride creates. I am yet to see any other event so empowering to a community, where so many are moved by the one emotion that many are powered by daily: love. Love conquers hate after all. A symbol as simple as a rainbow carries so much meaning, and everywhere I looked, whether that be in towns or online, people showed their solidarity.
I am a huge advocate of the LGBTQA+ community, and quite frankly there’s very little criteria that qualifies you to be an advocate too. Are you a tenant on Earth? Tick. Do you feel love as an emotion towards other people? Tick. Do you believe in human rights? Tick. Congratulations, you are eligible to be an advocate of the LGBTQA+ community.
I’m proud to be an advocate. I have childhood friends who came out as gay and bisexual not too long ago. We come from a very small town, whereby 99.9 percent of the population of our community and the ones neighbouring them are white and Christian. This is the type of community where teenage pregnancy was high, yet seeing a black guy casually on the street was like watching a mythical creature walk past. So from this small picture, you can understand why - despite being aware of their sexuality throughout school - that they chose not to come out to their family and friends until they had moved away from the area, free of the judgemental shackles of our religious white folk. Many are in happy relationships, (doing great relationship-py things by the looks of my Facebook feed, which, as a single person makes me simultaneously happy and envious of their adventures) and their families don’t bat an eyelid at it. In fact, my community is seeing a growing number of people identifying as LGBTQA+, and to my delight, acceptance is blooming.
Although Pride month has come to an end, the need for continued love and support hasn’t Your stories - the good, the bad, the ugly, and the awkward, have continued to make our day. We wanted to know how you celebrated Pride, and here are three examples of how you showed your love:
Every week, we want to hear YOUR stories.
Our question for you today is this: how do you look for relationships (both casual and serious) when you are attracted to personality rather than looks? How easy - or hard - has this been for you?