Pride Month and the Rainbow Flag. F*&$-ing #45.

I feel I’ve been inundated with articles about the protests and scares at Pride events. The assaults on lesbians and gays and transgender individuals are mounting. The President tweeted something ridiculous and hollow for Pride month yet his administration won’t fly a rainbow flag. So I wonder why our citizens who are homophobic feel empowered? It’s not rocket science.

I actually know gay and lesbian individuals who voted for #45 and it boggles my mind. I’ve written many blog posts about this homophobic administration. I’ve written many blog posts about being discriminated against in my personal life.

Never have I questioned attending a Pride event in the past. Never did I feel my safety would be at risk until this administration.

It’s a constant grind to be among a minority. There are emotions and energy invested in it that I’m not even aware of sometimes.

Let me explain why the administration of shitheads refusing to hang the rainbow flag is a big deal.

I went to hot yoga tonight and I was driving home and the little city my yoga studio is in is having it’s first Pride event this weekend. There were rainbow flags lining Main Street. Then I got to the end of Main St and I turn right, and at the stoplight directly in front of me is a church I’ve driven past hundreds of times. On their wall they had two huge rainbow flags, one just a flag, one with a saying of acceptance and love.

I smiled all the way down Main Street and the car behind me honked when I creeped by the church trying to read the sign and smiling like an idiot.

Because the rainbow flag is a signal. It’s a signal that I’m safe. It’s like a Christian seeing a church as sanctuary. I see the rainbow flag and I know I’m in a safe space. I know my family is accepted and loved and I can be myself and if any one tries to mess with us I know there are people here who will have our back.

It’s so much more than just a flag. It’s a beacon of light in the dark. I see a rainbow flag and I’m at ease. So to have the administration refuse to fly them sends me the signal that they do not have my back. They are not a safe space for myself or my family. If they are not with us they are against us and that immediately causes me to have my guard up at all times with anyone who voted for this very homophobic administration.

To anyone who is not a minority you will not get this. You will not understand walking around with a pit in your stomach because you know you’re in a conservative area and you fear for your safety merely because you are walking with your spouse.

You will never know what it’s like in that moment to see a rainbow flag however big or small and feel a wave of relief because you found an ally.

To walk in the shoes of a minority is to walk with fear. Always.

To truly be an ally is to take away that fear even if just for a moment.

To all of the Queer community I see you. You are beautiful. Rock it for Pride month.

 

But Why do the Queers Get a Month? (Said in a super whiney entitled voice)

Sometimes I read the comments on Pride posts. Mistake. I know. People are mean and hateful and discriminatory. For real though could they come up with anything different from “Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve”??? It’s so outdated and used up. Y’all need some fresh homophobic material.

One comment on facebook I read asked why we don’t have a month for Veteran’s Day, only a day. I thought that was a valid question. As I respect Veteran’s seeing as my Dad was one.

Here’s my response. I did some research so pay attention.

First off the last time the draft was enacted was Vietnam. Roughly 25% (648,500) made up the number of soldiers drafted who actually set foot in Vietnam. Roughly two million were drafted in total but of those only 648,500 set foot in Vietnam. Draftees accounted for  30% of deaths roughly 17,700.

Those are bad statistics. Because really no one should die fighting for a cause they were involved with involuntarily.

I promise you that 100% of individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, etc. identify this way UNWILLINGLY. Yes the Queer is not something any of us would choose to be.

In 2016 it was estimated roughly 4-5% of the population identify as Queer. That’s over ten million people. Other estimates are as high as 9% of the population. The Colorodoan ran a story in 2018 based off a review of hate crimes they did separate from the FBI’s statistics (which are incredibly low). Transgender and non-binary individuals made up more than 45% of the deaths in those files starting in 1998 through 2018.

Gender not normals are not safe in the United States. Their total projection was that over 600 LGBTQ individuals have been killed in the last two decades in the the United States.

We are not in a time of war. We are living our lives, with families, jobs, and homes. We are unsafe in our own backyards though.

Secondly for the traumas that Veterans have endured, which are many, they have an entire healthcare entity dedicated to Veterans health located in every state. Accessible to all Veterans. Is it a perfect system? No. But it exists.

The LGBTQ community often delays care due to fear of discrimination. They have higher rates of suicide, mental illness, and untreated medical illnesses due to lack of access to care.

Veterans are now held up high in our society. I for one have only seen them treated with respect if wearing their uniform in public and we as a society have thankfully changed our attitudes toward them so they are accepted and not blamed for wars that they have no control over.

The Queer community hides in fear. We were slowly emerging from the shadows when our country voted in one of the most openly homophobic administrations in recent history.

We live next door to neighbors with #45 signs. We know what that means. That we are not welcome there.

We know people who have been assaulted, spit on, fired, and not hired for jobs due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Veterans don’t have a month because they can live safely if they are heterosexual.

We have a month because we have been disowned, kicked down, told we are going to Hell, told we can’t have children, told we can’t get married, told our spouse has no legal standing to the child we have born and raised together, told that we are less than, that we are freaks, that we are deserving of the rape, torture, and murders we face.

We have a month because even in this month we are killed. Because Pulse happened in 2016. Remember Pulse? The deadliest shooting in our history and specifically targeting the Queers.

Because it took until 2003 for the United States Supreme Court to rule that sodomy could no longer be used to charge people for crimes (a case that shockingly originated in Texas). Because it took until 2015 until we could marry and even that does not protect our partner’s parental rights when we have children.

We have a month because we are still fighting to just exist.

Until that day; when we can exist without fear, on that day, then you can take the month back and give us a day.

Google “LGBTQ deaths in America”. Then ask me why we have a month.

 

Fear and Vulnerability

Vulnerability: (I had to dictionary.com this shit to fact check) So per Dictionary.com…

1. capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt; as by a weapon.

2. open to moral attack, criticism;

3. open to assault; difficult to defend.

Fear: Again per dictionary.com

  1. a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.
  2. a specific instance of or propensity for such a feeling: an abnormal fear of heights.
  3. concern or anxiety; solicitude: a fear for someone’s safety.
  4. reverential awe, especially toward God: the fear of God.
  5. something that causes feelings of dread or apprehension; something a person is afraid of: Cancer is a common fear.
  6. anticipation of the possibility that something unpleasant will occur

I’ve wanted to write a post about this for awhile. But haven’t figured out how. Also sort of hate being vulnerable so the idea of writing a blog post about it made me feel uneasy. But it’s important and I don’t like being scared of something. So here goes.

I think we all know instinctively what being vulnerable feels like but we may not be able to put it into words. Hence the dictionary.com situation. I knew that it feels scary/raw/open/fearful. I know how it feels because every single time I tell someone I’m married to a woman I feel it. Which is almost on a daily basis. Think about how many times you reference your significant other and/or children. On a daily basis right? Think about how safe and secure and without hesitation you feel every time you mention your husband or wife if you are in a heterosexual relationship. Think about mentioning your children a hundred times a day to anyone. That you don’t think twice about it, and then maybe you share this heterosexual moment of kinship about their Dad’s or their Mom’s or whatever.

I don’t have that.

I tell people I have twins and they ask if my husband helps out a lot. I say I have a wife. Then I wait. I wait for acceptance or not. I make that statement and I am vulnerable to attack on my person and on my marriage and on my business. Because I do own a business. It is woman owned and yes Lesbian owned. So take that:)

But for real. That maybe 5 second moment that I experience on the regular is the most fucked up/vulnerable/fear inspiring/awe inspiring moment. And no offense but hetero’s you just can’t comprehend.

Every single time I talk about my family I put my safety at risk. I put myself at risk.

EVERY LGBTQ individual who comes out to any one at any time makes themselves vulnerable in that moment in a way that only a minority who knows hate and discrimination and murder can know. It can literally be life ending. Sit with that for a second. Freaking deep right.

So honor that moment when someone has the courage to come out to you. Because they may look cool and calm but inside they are waiting. Waiting to see which way you will swing. They are vulnerable in that moment. Vulnerable to fear, hate, and love.

I won’t stop putting myself out there. I won’t stop writing a blog post that outs myself and my family. Because ultimately though the word vulnerable makes me a little squeamish I know the big picture is more important. The big picture being that there are LGBTQ individuals who have died after coming out. There are LGBTQ individuals who have been horribly beaten. Yet they still walk the walk. They still talk the talk. They have embraced the vulnerability and the fear and given it the middle finger. I am happily and fearfully and lovingly joining them.

Rest in peace. All those who have died to be LGBTQ freely. PRIDE month in the USA for me means being proud of all those individuals who have stood up for our rights and died for them. We will carry on.