Reflecting on PrideThursday, July 6, 2023
Pride Month may be over for another year, with companies de-rainbowing themselves and plunging us back into the normal corporate landscape, but here we are – just like we were yesterday, and just like we’ll be tomorrow.
When I was younger, Pride was my worst nightmare. Performances and flashes of over-the-top queerness that just pushed my own internalised homophobia straight through the roof.
Thankfully, that’s now a much different story.
At 32 I could never have envisioned being so comfortable and at peace with myself. Surrounded by queerness and love and acceptance, it all makes it seem so much easier than 16-year-old me could ever have dreamed.
Why is that though?
Well, society has changed, attitudes have changed, and fundamentally I have changed.
I now find myself feeling privileged in my life because I can stand here and shout as loud as I can for all of those who aren’t as lucky.
Some will ask, why do we still need Pride?
Well, as soon as people are stopped being harassed, discriminated against, or killed – that would maybe be a good start. But something that occasionally gets lost in the choir is that pride isn’t just for members of the LGBTQI+ community – it’s for every underrepresented group under the rainbow.
I joined our EDI group because I felt that I could help move things forward. I wanted to make sure that the colleagues of tomorrow never have to have the conversations we have now. I’m sure they’ll chuckle at how archaic we were, stumbling about making sure to be respectful, listen to what matters, be allies and be proud of who we are.
For me, that’s TML in a nutshell. We listen, we learn, and we try. Do we always get it right? No. But when we do get it wrong, we relish in that, because we can be better.
One hurdle I think most queer people will recognise is having to come out. Coming out though is never just once. It’s when you meet new people, find yourself in new social settings, when you start a new job. It can be a lot.
I’ve never had to come out here.
From the moment I interviewed for my role my own queerness was front and centre, you don’t get one or the other, you get both. Being welcomed for that is quite something, and having your voice heard – that can never really be taken for granted.
TML is real life, this is real life. This is a snippet of my story, but over a chilled glass of Kylie Minogue’s wonderful Prosecco, you would hear stories you wouldn’t believe.
What do I think of Pride Month now? It’s a spotlight, to communities that have endured a lot, but they do endure.
The world has bigger problems than boys who kiss boys, girls who kiss girls, and theys who kiss theys.
Pride Month reminds me that it’s not just a proud month, it’s a proud life. And as for Pride Marches, performances, and flashes of over-the-top queerness? I’ll see you at the front row.