The Pride Parade has always had a complicated place in my heart. I have long found it incredibly difficult to attend: my own queerness, being both bisexual and transgender, has itself been a difficult truth to live at times. When I am there, I am always consistently and completely overwhelmed: the amount of love, in the eyes of a world that has long threatened many queer people’s existence, is always going to make me cry. But these emotions are mine to deal with, and in that sense the parade helps me.
And Pride works for me. I am served by it; this is how I formed my plan for this year’s pride. I could already walk for myself. I could proudly be out and walk with my friends. But not all of us are so lucky. So I decided to walk for others as well.
I gathered five slogans that I felt would encapsulate issues bigger than myself, issues that deserve year-round attention and awareness. I printed them in dozens of copies and in various sizes, from postcard to A3 on foamcore. With that, I also mobilised friends and friends of friends to carry other people’s messages with them.
Pride is complicated for me. I cry in sorrow at its necessity, and in joy at its plentiful honesty and beauty. I long wondered if it was for me, and when I found it in myself I quickly became attached to it. But I am proud. I’m a very proud and open and, frankly, loud woman. I can speak for myself. So to stand in my strength and pride, on a hot summer’s day, with the world smiling at me, I carried a big-ass Black Lives Matter banner and did my best to speak loudly for others.