Photo: Natália Zajačiková

Taking PRIDE in Your Identity & Your Sexuality.

Often PRIDE is seen as a time that focuses on out and proud adults, but PRIDE is also a time to reflect on the teens and kids that are still struggling with the heteronormative language and attitudes many societies and cultures promote. Gender revels and baby tees with “heart breaker” or “ladies man”, colors assigned to specific genders, all of these problematic messages society is constantly pushing onto children and teens. These messages may seem harmless to those who fit into the social assigned box, but for those who do not, it is a constant reminder that you are not what you are “supposed” to be. We have explored this topic on our blog, Why are we filling young people with shame?

This kind of mental turmoil is why LGBTQIA+ children and teens have higher numbers of depression, anxiety and suicide. 

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“Times Have Changed.”

Many people believe the ideas surrounding gender and sexuality is something of “this generation” and that these conversations have only been had in the last decade, but that is a serious misconception. The concept of a gender spectrum has spanned across many indigenous communities for many years it was not until the colonization of the world where these rich, accepting perspective were lost to Christianity. Now while the global north celebrates PRIDE the colonized countries of the global south face death, ostracization and stigma for defying these new beliefs imposed on them and their culture. 

In the same breath, the presences of gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, and transgender people have all been a major part of our history, yet their impact has been erased from schools and history itself. This erasure not only devalues the LGBTQIA+ communities’ contributions to culture, art, history and beyond, but it perpetuates this message that members of this community are only rainbow carrying millennials/Gen Z. When in reality, this community has been leading the fight against hate, harm and discrimination, as well as creating innovation for the world. 

People in History

Ifti Nasim – A Pakistani American poet who escaped persecution for being a gay man. His work lead him to create “Narman” and an organization to support LGBT south Asian youths, providing a helping hand for children and adults. 

Renée Richards – Known for her fight to compete as a women in the professional tennis world after undergoing reassignment surgery. At this time the US Tennis Association was forcing genetic screening on players to compete, Renée challenged that ruling and won. 

Ernestine Eckstein – An African American Women known for her invaluable contributions to the Lesbian and Gay Rights Movement and Civil Rights Movement. Ernestine, lead the fight against discrimination across all frontiers, not just of the LGBTQAI+ community but that of the Black and African American community as well. Fighting for equity for all. 

Manvendra Singh Gohil – This was the first openly gay prince in the world, this Indian prince fought hard for the LGBT community. Working and creating charities and organizations designed to help children and adults. He was the founder of many organizations that still exist today, that seek to break down barriers in health and life for the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Think About it 

This PRIDE instead of Pink Washing everything we invite you to reflect on the things you say and how you say them, who do these messages hurt? Do you feel you are an educated ally or parent? What types of stigmas and harm are you passing to the next generations?

If you find yourself unable to answer these questions have a look at XO’s episode on sexualities, or check out “What is Healthy Sexual Development”, by Alan McKee. If you still feel you need more, take the time to follow our newsletter were we will dive deeper into the topic as well as expand your community. Social media is a great way to get in touch with members of the community to ask and learn how to be better, and support hope over harm. 

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