Because I'm Proud- One Mom's Journey to Become the Best Damn Ally She Can Be
I've been thinking about the different identity terms in the LGBTQIA+ community. It has been important to me to know these terms on a practical level since we design and create jewelry and accessories using the colors of the different pride flags. On a personal level, there are so many people that I love that are members of this community and I want to honor them by educating myself. I thought memorizing the colors of various pride flags was my way of better understanding the community, empathizing, and being a better ally. Nope. Memorizing and understanding are two different things. (Obviously, right?)
I've been thinking about this so much because I live with someone who recently told me that they identify as genderqueer. Researching on the line is a great way to learn about sexual identity, there is so much great information, but I want to understand and connect on a deeper level.
Fortunately, this person is happy to answer my questions. I asked what genderqueer means to them, why they identify as genderqueer, and what they think is the most important thing for me to know as I seek to understand.
Please don't think that I believe it's another person's job to educate me about their identity. I believe it's my responsibility to research first before asking questions and to make sure it's ok with the other person before I ask anything. I know that these personal truths are sacred and often tender, and I am honored when someone trusts me enough to share their story.
If you have experiences like mine I would love to hear about them. I think that it is only by communicating with each other that we will strengthen our connections and our communities. That really is how peace begins.
Thanks for reading and for being part of this community.
until next time,
We're still basking in the wonderful that was. Out! Raleigh Pride on June 25. It was just so much, well, wonderful!
Yes, there were loud detractors citing misinterpreted biblical text, but those were met with shouts of "love is love" to drown them out and there were so many more examples of love and inclusion and respect than of hate.
Family after family stopped at our booth and looked for buttons or pins or jewelry or keychains that represented and affirmed their children.
One young adult was so moved by a child's wish for a button and their parent's affirmation that the young adult bought said button as a gift.
There were folks who asked questions (which my lovely young mentor was able to answer quite well, teaching me in the process) and others who made great suggestions for designs that we've taken with us and started making.
Even in the ridiculous heat, and the extraordinary number of people, there was so much joy and love that it fills me up even now.
All I want to know now is how do we keep that wonderful going. Because we need to. We have to. This community deserves that kind of love every day, everywhere.
Hope you have a great week,
thanks for being here,
What are you hoping for today? I think that you are here because you either travel the same road I do as an LGBTQIA+ Ally, or maybe you’re a member of the community. Either way, if you could have one wish for this rainbow of beautiful humans, what would it be?
My wish for this community is total acceptance. I think that would cover it, don’t you? No more violence. No more discrimination. No more fear. My beautiful gay children and yours certainly deserve no less than to walk through their lives, never needing to worry about their safety based on who they love.
I hope that there is a day when violence and discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community is a thing of the past, a day when we don’t need a word like “heteronormative”, a time when there is no need to “come out of the closet”, a day when we don’t create division by categorizing people by sexual orientation, a day when people are accepted and celebrated for who they are no matter who they love.
I started to write today on a different topic, but thoughts about legislation and hate and crimes against the LGBTQIA+ community kept pressing in. Some days, the reality of bias and intolerance, and cruelty weigh more heavily than on other days. Instead of trying to force the universe today, I decided instead to share what was on my heart. I’m thinking that you might have been in this same place a time or two. Next time you find yourself there, I hope you remember that you are not alone, that there are those of us for whom love is love and who celebrate every single smidge of the LGBTQIA+ rainbow, and will continue to work every day to make that wish of acceptance a reality.
Thanks for being part of this conversation.
With much love,