A few weeks into March of 2017, I got a phone call from my oldest/longest standing friend I have to date. Andrew Swain and I met in middle school when we were 11 years old and are still friends to this day, 20 years later. We rarely talk on the phone, if ever, and mainly keep in touch when I go back home to Colorado every year or so. I remember being at the dog park with Maya when I saw Andrew’s name come up on my phone. My mind always immediately thinks the worst and this time was no different. “Andrew’s calling me, this can’t be good,” I thought to myself. And it wasn’t.
I knew I was gay ever since I began watching early seasons of the Power Rangers. I had a crush on almost every red and blue ranger cast for the show. During my early childhood, I honestly believed that liking other boys was natural and accepted by society. In retrospect, I noticed that I wasn't exposed to much or any negative media. I didn't learn about events like Columbine until many years later.
In the month of June we celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community. It's National Pride month, yay! In this month we celebrate the proud people who rioted for their freedom to be themselves, allowing us that freedom as well. Whether we know ourselves or not.
The ocean and I have always had a complicated relationship.
Pride month comes around every June as a way to foster community and celebrate sexual diversity. It’s all about recognizing the impact that LGBTQIA+ individuals have had on their communities, and the world at large; so it can encourage appreciation of the ways in which these people experience the world around them. Pride events help those who are still figuring out their sexualities to step into their identities, and find joy and beauty in them.
In 1970, the month of June was named National Pride Month, a year after the famous Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village located in New York City. The riots, which spanned over three days, saw the New York gay community resisting police discrimination and public humiliation. The 1969 riots sparked the inception of what came to be known as the LGBTQ Rights Movement and are some of the most prominent occurrences in the history of the national gay community and the struggle for public recognition and visibility.
Judging by the title, I wouldn't blame you for thinking this is going to be a rage piece—a rant against cis LGB people. It's not. I've come to terms with the fact that, as a trans person, I have to be cautious of every single cis person I meet, regardless of whether they are also LGB. I want to explain what I mean by that, because there is every chance that there is a cis LGB person reading this and thinking, "but why? we're in the same community," and you wouldn't be wrong, but for trans people it's not that simple.