Just because Pride Month is ending, doesn’t mean we won’t continue fighting for our rights anymore. June is a reminder for everyone to recognize our community, but the call to be protected and seen is year-round.
As June comes to a close, let us remind ourselves why the LGBTQIA+ community stays loud and proud, most especially during this time of the year.
Coming out of our shells has to be one of the hardest things to do. There is the uncertainty of acceptance and reciprocation of the same love we have for the people in our life; secret side-eyes and sudden backing aways were frequent in hopes of them not catching our so-called disease. We question our worth and individuality constantly and wonder why we deserve to be distanced away from people who don’t see us as human.
We ask ourselves why we’re deprived of the same opportunities as our opposites in the passions we want to pursue and wonder why we can’t feel safe in shared spaces that resemble freedom and protection.
“Pero sana lalaki ‘yung makatuluyan mo.”
When I introduced myself as someone who liked girls, I was immediately told to marry a man. It was a sentence that made me realize how I was seen and how they wanted to see me. Every day since then, I questioned whether I was messed in the head or in the heart for loving someone who shares the same chromosomes as I do.
I never knew where I went wrong; I never understood why I had to be told what to do and how to live my life as if they were the ones in charge of my chapters. No one really told me why it was fine for everyone else to control me, to shackle me to their definition of normalcy as if my whole existence was a joke made for TV. I knew I was more than just a trope, a funny character in movies and sitcoms, and so are the rest who live similarly as I.
“Of course, gurl! I will always love you.”
As time progressed, so did many others. I was blessed with opportunities that align with how I want to use my voice. I was slowly surrounded by countless forms of love and acceptance rather than tolerance, mostly from those I meet in the middle of my lifetime than from those I have grown up with. I have made breakthroughs that challenged the normalcy to see how extraordinary I came to be, and how I could contribute well just like my polar opposites.
I am able to write this today in solidarity with those who can’t. I commit to continue writing for voices forever strained and pens forever stolen. I’m not going anywhere, and neither is everyone else whose platforms are under their feet, with which they use to continue stomping and calling for everyone to give the same privileges as we do.
Because pride is not a one-month celebration, but a call to action. Pride is this piece you just finished reading.