This month has offered a great chance to celebrate what it means to be part of the LGBTQ+ community in the UK. It would be completely false if I rounded out this month of celebration without of course adressing the struggles we are still facing in the community.
Pride was the starting point for the conversations that I have been having this month. Pride often as an event smoothes over some of the most problematic areas of the community. It also projects a very sanitised version of what it means to be Queer in the UK.
When it comes to representation it projects a very watered down version of being Queer. To onlookers of Pride, it would seem that to be Queer you must be thin, sexy and white. There is not enough representation of all forms of queer. I wrote more words about representation in the queer community for The Love of Queers, that I think would be great to read here.
When it comes to representation, I use my own visibility to encourage others to do the same. However, I also realise that I have a lot of privilege, and so it is my responsibility to speak up for those who are being ignored. This includes the trans community.
Trans people are being killed. At the time of writing 11 trans women have been killed in the US. Dana Martin, Jazzaline Ware, Ashanti Carmon, Claire Legato, Muhlaysia Booker, Michelle “Tamika” Washington, Paris Cameron, Chynal Lindsey, Chanel Scurlock, Zoe Spears, and Brooklyn Lindsey. This is just so far in 2019. That I even have to write this, makes me feel ill. We have so far to go in educating the world.
In our own country just last month in Birmingham, to see a community turn on the LGBTQ+ community in a way that makes us feel like second class citizens. Suggesting that being educated about the existence of LGBTQ+ people at aged 4 and 5 is inappropriate, makes it sound like the protesters think that LGBTQ+ people are unsuitable to be around children. We are being discriminated against. For reasons that I actually cannot comprehend.
In some senses, we have gained a level of progression that seems groundbreaking and exciting. Yet every day we face an erosion to the little ground we have gained. We are having to fight, not to move forwards, but just to stay where we are. Not only is this disheartening, but it is bloody unfair. It makes me angry, and it makes me never want to give up being who I am.
I refuse to live in a world where people are not accepted for who they are. I will continue to be visible and proud of who I am. I am not saying that every member of the LGBTQ+ community has to be an activist every day. However, we have to make sure we are standing up for the right things, to be vocal about all issues that affect different parts of the community. We have to be the voice of those that are not being heard. We have to unite and strive for a better future.
I end this celebration month knowing that I will continue to celebrate who I am every day, but that I will also carry on fighting.
Thank you for joining me this celebration month, and for all our love and support. I love you all.
Shot by Rachel Pechey
Shop My Lewk:
Jacket: M&S, Old, Similar
Top: ASOS Curve
Jeans: ASOS Curve
Sunglasses: ASOS, Old
Earrings: John Lewis