As a white cisgendered person, I hold a certain amount of privilege within the queer community. It’s so important that we recognize the different levels of privilege we possess, even when we belong to marginalized groups, so that we don’t perpetuate the marginalization of folks who have added vulnerabilities within a community e.g. trans and gender non-conforming people, Indigenous folks who are Two-Spirited, and LGBTQ+ BIPOC individuals.
In addition to recognizing our privilege, it’s also of utmost importance to acknowledge those who’ve paved the way for the rights and Pride that many of us get to enjoy. For these more marginalized 2SLGBTQ+ folks, Pride is still very much a fight for equal rights and safety. Unfortunately, there has been an increasing amount of hate, discrimination, and violence against the community as a whole lately—the fight is not over. As I type this, my hands are shaky, my heart is beginning to race, and tears are building up. Being a queer person, in the last couple years in particular, has me feeling a level of hypervigilance that I don’t think is talked about often enough. Knowing and seeing how many people hate me and other members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community isn’t something easy to brush off. Many times, I feel I have to hide this part of my identity, despite the fact that my being queer causes no one harm. I’m so, so proud and honoured to be part of a community filled with so much vibrance, passion, creativity, magic, and love, and I’m too afraid to put a Pride flag in front of my house or as a decal on my car (for fear that it would elicit violent behaviour from those who hate my existence or Pride for my queerness).
In saying this, I remember that many folks don’t have the privilege to be white, cisgender and straight-passing; they don’t have the privilege to mask their 2SLGBTQ+ identity. This is why I do what I can to participate in, not only activism and advocacy, but also the appreciation and celebration of these people. Queer love is a rebellion and an act of courage. It is radiant and it is powerful. Our love for one another in the 2SLGBTQ+ community is magnetic and magical. This Pride season, may we celebrate this love but not forget that the fight is ongoing—allies and 2SLGBTQ+ folks alike, let’s keep pushing for progress.