It was important for me to have the theme for June be Pride. In the political climate we are currently living in, it is imperative we stand by our LGBTQIA+ family. This week in my state of Rhode Island, House lawmakers voted unanimously to ban conversion therapy on children which is a huge win.
Here is a little history on Pride month:
"The month of June was chosen for LGBT Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which occurred at the end of June 1969. As a result, many pride events are held during this month to recognize the impact LGBT people have had in the world. Brenda Howard is known as the "Mother of Pride", for her work in coordinating the first LGBT Pride march, and she also originated the idea for a week-long series of events around Pride Day which became the genesis of the annual LGBT Pride celebrations that are now held around the world every June." (source)
Growing up I never thought twice about someone being gay. My mother’s best friends were a male gay couple. I have photos of them holding me when I was an infant. They were there for her when my birth father was not. My mother made me watch Rocky Horror Picture Show when I was five. It quickly became my favorite movie. I don't know many kindergartners who have Dr. Frank-N-Furter as their idol. When I was in fifth grade, one of my best friends was gay. I don’t think we really understood the intricacies of it all since we were only ten years old but it didn’t matter much to us. He listened to us talk about RL Stein books all the time so he was cool.
Only a few years later did I realized that some people had an issue with gay people. With people like my mother's best friends, Dr. Frank-N-Furter, and my BFF from fifth grade. My step-father saying something homophobic or classmates calling someone gay like it was a bad thing. I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand the hatred for people just living their lives. As a black woman, I feel like it would be negligent to not support this community in the utmost way I can, no matter who they love or what identity best defines them. And not just because I am black, but because it's the right thing to do.
One of the things that I think is special about The Lady Project is that it brings together women from all walks of life. It’s a place to be in communion with other like-minded ladies. At first to me, it seemed to me that our message was clear but the world isn’t so black and white, or should I say, male and female? Some people don’t fall in line with the two genders society says we should abide by. On a weekly basis, I see someone come out as non-binary or gender fluid on my Facebook timeline. Where is their place in The Lady Project? This is an organization for those who identify as female, but what if you don’t? How can we as a very gendered group make space for those who don’t align with our initial vision? I may not have the answers for that right now but I do know that we are an inclusive group of people who want to lift each other up and take care of each other. And our door is open.
This month we will be sharing stories of coming out, finding love in unexpected places, being a real ally to the community, truly understanding the meaning of Pride, and so much more. We will be featuring 12 LGBTQ+ folks you should definitely know. Father’s Day is also in June so we will be sharing a few posts about dads, as well as interviews with a few Lady Project members. I’m very excited for this month of content and I hope you are too.