Happy… Pride… month?
Let me try that again. Ahem. Happypridemonth.
Still not there.
Happy meh meh meh.
I was starting to think that I sucked at being queer when June 3rd rolled around and I realized I hadn’t written a single thing for Love is a Fetish all month long. That’s 72 wasted hours. I’m supposed to be Proud with a capital P, right?
But I didn’t have time to fully feel like a crappy queer because I spent my day defending myself against ignorance. You know, living my best life as a queer-and-out mainstream journalist.
So it’s been hitting me in bursts. As I’ve tried to focus on work.
It’s like I have a co-worker wearing a perfume I’m allergic to who keeps walking into my office every time I finally stop sneezing and get ready to get back to work.
But it’s Pride month and I’m a queer journalist. I owe it to those who paved the way for me to have a platform to say… something.
Fuck. Does it ever get to be just about us? Can’t we just fucking be?
I was expecting a wave of celebratory pride to wash over me this year, but June descended upon me with all the nuance of an unwanted dick pic. It’s harsh, hard, and cold out here when you’re keyed into the global news cycle for a living.
The “Pride” section on Google news, this year, is filled with awful pieces about bigots and Florida.
And I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders as I step up to the podium my global platform provides me, clear my throat, and say: uh, fuck it’s bad out here.
Pride’s supposed to be a party.
And, as if to punctuate the moment, I stare intently at the timestamps on all the hate tweets I’m racking up by simply existing as a queer person during Pride month, and all I can think is that I’m somehow losing. Am I failing at Pride?
It’s 2021. I keep thinking it over and over. It’s 2021.
I wonder what I could be doing better. How I could be the change I wish to see.
And all I can think of is this: I see you. That’s it. That’s what I’ve got. I see you. If you feel like I feel, I see you. We’re still here and that’s all that matters. We can be proud just to be.
Because here’s the secret: if they’re going to hate us for existing, then every day we persist is revenge. I’m proud of that and you should be too.
Happy Pride month!
Tristan is a science and technology journalist who values life, humanity, and taco soup. He/him