It’s Pride month. Congratulations to all us Queer and LGBTQAI+ folk for surviving this long. You’re doing amazing. This Pride, as always, there will be events and protests and all sorts of things that you might want to go to but for some reason can’t. Even if that means you can’t quite bring yourself to reblog that picture of two girls kissing or post a rainbow flag on your Facebook. There are no bad reasons for not joining in.
There are so many people out there doing everything they can to celebrate and spread awareness. And then there’s me. I completely forgot it was Pride month until several days in and everyone else was already posting about it and doing special things to celebrate – whether drawing something cool or posting pictures of LGBT+ books they like every day. I managed to get tickets at the last minute to an LGBT+ event but that was more because it sounded fun than because I particularly wanted to flaunt my new right to marry.
Campaigning or providing awareness at any level is exhausting. It really is. During the marriage debate I posted one photograph of an LGBT+ book on Instagram every single day. Do you know how hard it is to come up with a refreshing and exciting caption every. Single. Day?! It’s hard enough without the overhanging anxiety of everyone around you discussing your rights to personhood, but add that into the mix and hoo boy. Suffice it to say that I was a mess. On top of that, it is hard not to feel like the plebishite doesn’t now hang over everything I do, or every queer event I attend or even click “interested” for. It’s as if, now that I can legally marry, I am supposed to be happier, content with what little we have been given. Instead it has filled me with a hunger for more, oddly combined with a sense of my own powerlessness – we won this fight, now what? How long must we keep fighting for every little scrap and then desperately thank those who held it out of our reach? I am so tired, I can’t keep fighting. So instead I am writing this – to those like me, already weighed down with the burden of so few years – to remind myself, and everyone who can see, read or hear this, that it is ok to put down your pen or bullhorn or camera, whatever it is you fight with. It is ok to rest for a moment and allow your heart to heal.
So don’t feel guilty if you can’t do anything, or don’t want to because it might trigger your anxiety or depression or asthma. Don’t feel guilty if clubbing or holding up a placard at a rally just isn’t quite your thing. Don’t feel guilty if you cannot even voice support for the Queer community because to do so would result in bodily or emotional harm, or even a conversation you’re not quite ready for yet. You are allowed to be your own person and to do it at your own pace, because maybe next year you will be ready or in a good enough place mentally or physically or emotionally to proudly voice your support, in whatever way you choose, in whatever way you are able.
I hope to see you all there