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Pride is just the beginning...

by Robyn Gunn about a year ago in Empowerment
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Why embracing our whole selves is only the first step

Pride.

For a single word it holds so many meanings and feelings for all of us. It could be an academic achievment, moving on from a relationship, just being proud of who you are as a person- all of these and more. And today, I'd like to tell you all what Pride means to me.

Growing up I never really 'fit in' with my peers. In my primary years I was your classic 'tom-boy'; racing around with the lads, playing football, general rough play- that kind of person. I hung out with my brother and played with toys he played with and knew from a very young age what I wanted to do in life. Who I wanted to be. Or at least, I had a good idea of who I was at the time.

Before I knew it everything changed. Everyone hits the age when puberty comes a-knocking and for me it hit hard. Boys I had thought my friends suddenly wanted nothing to do with me, girls didn't play footie- right? And I certainly did not fit in with the girls in my year. I didn't care about make-up or dresses or tea parties. I wanted to battle in the streets with cardboard swords and shields we made ourselves, to read epic tales that whisk you away to unknown worlds and escape for a while. That's who I was. The girl in the middle who didn't really fit into either group. And that's who I thought I'd be for the rest of my life. The person that doesn't really fit.

I was wrong.

I was so wrong. In 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic swept over the world putting everything on hold for months on end I found time to sit down and re-examine things. And who I am now and who I thought I was are two very different people.

Pride changed that for me. Someone else's pride- who didn't care what other people thought about what/who they should be. Ruby Rose. She was unapologetically herself and that is so hard in the world we live in today. So much so I found myself exploring other media she's been in and then I stumbled across her short film- Break Free.

For most of my life I felt out of touch with who I was. I'm a woman who prefers to dress like a man, play hard, work harder. In secondary school I couldn't care less about who was dating who and who liked who's instagram posts. I didn't see their fascination with it all. Still don't really. But that's okay. In fact, it's more than okay. We're human, we're all unique. But watching that film I felt seen.

Watching a woman cut her hair, throw away societal expectations and dress in a way she found comfortable- in a way I often thought was 'my style'- my jaw dropped, the world spun on its axis. All through my life I've seen people with different hair styles, body shapes and dress preferences. Somehow, I'd just never associated those things with myself. I had long hair because I'd always had long hair and because girls had long hair. I tried wearing make-up because that's what everyone else my age was saying I should be doing. And now?

Now I cut my hair, almost a year ago now, and I'd never go back. I go to the barbers, have the sides shaved to a 3 and a half and the top left long-ish. I almost never wear make-up, my wardrobe consists mainly of shirts and jumpers and boots that I wear almost daily. This is me being my whole, true self more than I ever thought possible. All because of Pride.

And that's just the start. I set out on a journey of self-discovery and I'm still going. Before I had no idea there were sexualities beyond LGBT. I had no idea there were different types of attraction or that there was a word for not feeling comfortable with your body. My journey is far from over but already I have learnt so much about myself.

I am an asexual, bi-romantic, gender-fluid woman. And I am proud to be who I am. I am proud to be part of a world that is becoming better, less toxic, less discriminatory and more equal. I am proud to have set out on this journey and find my true self. I am proud that other people's pride can mean so much to others.

I am who I am today because Ruby Rose was proud enough to make Break Free. That short film set me on my journey. And, somehow, in some way, I hope my pride can help somebode else too.

Maybe even you.

Empowerment

About the author

Robyn Gunn

I'm a neurodivergent, queer young woman trying to make sense of myself and the world around me. Come join me on my journey of exploration as a veterinary student and as a young person in this crazy world we live in.

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