Lez Talk Public Display of Pride

Public Display of Pride

By Siona Sandrine

Photo courtesy of Swiger Photography and Amanda Swiger

Photo courtesy of Swiger Photography and Amanda Swiger

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Pride Month has finally arrived. Despite the fact that it feels like mid-March instead of June, there’s still a gayful buzz in the air. I remember last year’s Pride was my first ever Dyke March, and I took on the streets blowing bubbles. I was with new friends and childhood friends, and did a very classic Siona costume change on the subway platform. Short shorts with my “love is legal” tank top, I took on the streets packed with dancing and music and an obscene amount of streamers. We were all so happy.

This year feels a little different. Since Election Night, and especially since inauguration, there’s been a lot of pride snuffed out for me. I remember months ago outside my job, a girl I was talking to wanted to kiss me goodbye and I backed away. Because I was scared. This made her feel like I was ashamed of her. To this day, I’m still kind of ashamed of myself for that moment. I let my pride swallow my Pride.

My femininity is a really great “safety blanket” sometimes. I get a handful of “hey baby” and “you’re beautiful” from thirsty strangers every now and then, but it’s different when comments are made when I’m with someone else. Last summer I was brave enough to kiss a girl in public for the first time, and I remember hearing whistles and hoots from a group of guys across the street and we pulled apart. And that was before T*ump.

But now it’s Pride Month again. Now T*ump is.. Whatever he is. And I’m in love. (Talk about timing, huh). This year, I again want to do a costume change on the subway platform. I want to blow bubbles and march in the parade with friends. I want streamers and short shorts and love to be legal again. And for a new memory, I want to kiss her.

When I first was coming out, I thought about how lucky gay people were. That straight people would never know how far their partners would go for them when it came to bravery, when every day LGBTQ people choose love over fear. We hold hands in the face of hate. We get this really intense, deep, brave declaration of love every day. Now 6 years later, I’m calling on that to help me.

We’re the lucky ones. We know our strength, our bravery, our hearts, and our values. We know love in a way that is loud and unapologetic and beautiful. T*ump may not have acknowledged Pride Month, but we have 365 days of proof that we exist and we matter and we will not be silenced. Do not let anyone or anything take the celebration of your existence away from you. Bring out the rainbows and sparkles. Blow bubbles. March. Be seen and heard. And this year, as well as every year to come, I will not be ashamed. And I will kiss her.

Love is love is love is love is love. Happy Pride, my rainbow warriors.