You are here

Pride and Privilege: Pride Month

Pride and Privilege: Pride Month 2023

As a white, cisgender person, I hold a certain amount of privilege within the queer community. It’s so important that we recognize the different levels of privilege we possess, even when we belong to marginalized groups, so that we don’t perpetuate the marginalization of folks who have added vulnerabilities within a community e.g. those who are trans and gender non-conforming, Indigenous and Two-spirited, and LGBTQ+ BIPOC. We can acknowledge these different levels of marginalization and validate that being 2SLGBTQ+ is, at times, difficult for all of us.

In addition to recognizing our privilege, it’s also incredibly important to acknowledge those who’ve paved the way for the rights and Pride that many of us get to enjoy. For the more marginalized 2SLGBTQ+ folks, Pride is still very much a fight for equal rights and safety. Unfortunately, there has been an increasing amount of hate, discrimination, and violence against the community as a whole lately—the fight is not over for any of us. As I type this, my hands are shaking, my heart is beginning to race, and tears are building in my eyes. Being a queer person, in the last couple of years in particular, has me feeling a level of hypervigilance that I don’t think is talked about often enough. Knowing and seeing how many people hate me and other members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community isn’t something easy to brush off.

I often feel I have to hide this part of my identity, despite the fact that my being queer causes no one harm. I am genuinely so proud and honoured to be part of a community filled with such vibrance, passion, creativity, magic, and love. And yet, I’m too afraid to put a Pride flag in front of my house or a decal on my car for fear that it would elicit violent behaviour from those who hate my existence or pride for my queerness. In saying this, I think about those who don’t have the privilege of being white, cisgender and straight-passing; many of them can't simply mask their 2SLGBTQ+ identity.

For these reasons, and others, it is critical to participate in not only activism and advocacy, but also the appreciation and celebration of all 2SLGBTQ+ people. Queer love is a rebellion, an act of courage; it is radiant. Our love for one another in the 2SLGBTQ+ community is magnetic, magical and powerful. This Pride season, may we celebrate this love but not forget that the fight is ongoing—allies and 2SLGBTQ+ folks alike, let’s keep pushing for progress.