For a number of years, the only gay person I knew was the person I was dating. I was always told that love is not enough. Therefore, no matter how lovely, caring and supportive my partners were. I still felt isolated in my sexuality. LGBT people live in a heterosexual world, that drowns out the voice of a single loving individual that is trying to convince you that everything will be alright and that it is more than OK to finally live your truth.
I started to watch LGBT web series on YouTube to feel a sense of belonging, to gain some understanding of this new world I’ve entered that does not provide a training day or starter pack.
Living in the Western world there is a push for individuality and being alone entity is glorified. As great as independence is, we have to understand that wanting to belong to a community is as natural to human beings as eating and drinking.
After 3 years of living my truth, I went to my first pride event, UK Black Pride. Being around hundreds of people that belong to the LGBT community and people who support the LGBT community. I felt a sense of peace, I felt comfortable, I felt a support from people that don’t even know who I am. As a result, I temporarily silenced the voices of conformity and doubt.
“Out and proud”, I constantly hear. These words brought terror to my soul. These words were one of my biggest tormentors. The thing that we don’t talk about is that some of us feel trapped in our sexuality. We live in a world that forces us to keep on coming out, to question if the people we love and care about will reject or accept us and always analysing if being our true and whole self will have damaging consequences on our lives.
Why do pride events and gay night clubs bring me peace? It’s due to the fact that, when I’m there I don’t have the above questions or any other questions about my sexuality circling around in my mind. At LGBT events; I am just me, the whole me, not just parts of me. I don’t have to hide, I just am and I can just live. The heterosexual world can feel at time like you’re just surviving and not living.
So, enjoy the pride season because for many of us it’s a lifeline and a ray of hope. Every year, we need to celebrate how far we have come and understand how far we have to go. With every step, I take at any pride event, it’s a step towards self-love and self-acceptance.
Newcomers and regular pride goers, remember that there is strength in numbers. I am your teammate, we just haven’t met yet. Enjoy the pride season, fly the rainbow flag high and proud. The fact that I have not named myself in this letter, means that I, along with many others still have a long way to go. So, talk to as many people as you can because you don’t know what life you could be saving.
Angel Haze best said, “and It’s tougher when it’s something you can’t deny. And ignorance teaches us it’s something that you decide. You’re driven by your choice is an optical illusion. Here’s to understanding that it’s not always confusion.”