Thoughts About Pride Month

danny-the-trans-dad

I want to take a moment and spend some time talking about Pride month because I haven’t really yet, and I want to speak to why that is.  I want to address some of the feelings that I’m having around Pride again this year and how they’re some of the same feelings I’ve felt over the years; how they’ve reshaped and felt different now as a sober parent, as a queer, trans, sober parent.

First I want to talk about how as a nonbinary person Pride has been difficult because although I’ve come out as trans and nonbinary, and I’ve found this beautiful community of people who I very deeply identify with and feel seen by, I also lost many identities that I loved and some of which kept me alive over the years. For example, I’m oftentimes read as a cis gay man, and I’m no longer seen by queer women or lesbians, or I don’t get that nod of affirmation. Now I get the side-eye glance from the gay men, which I appreciate sometimes, but also I no longer feel seen by a community that I spent so many years a part of and identifying with.  I have a lot of grief around that.

I have a lot of grief of not being seen as a queer woman, even though I never identified really as one, but I very much identified with the community that came from that identity. And that’s a community that I miss, especially as a transmasculine nonbinary person who primarily and historically has been attracted to and dated queer women, it makes dating really scary, which is well, why I’ve spent the majority of the last decade single and not dating.

Pride is challenging in a lot of ways, and that has led to feelings of low self-worth, which have also led to difficulties in connecting with people within my community, within the trans and nonbinary people, because I haven’t felt worthy of those friendships. I haven’t felt enough. So I’ve been hiding from that community.

Another piece that I want to talk about is being sober and how the trans community and the queer community struggle with addiction and alcoholism at such a greater rate than other communities.  With Pride, there’s such a focus around partying and drinking.  That’s never felt good to me, but especially now as a sober person.

So now I’m having to navigate Pride differently, and that feels isolating like I’d rather sometimes just isolate versus navigate new and unsteady waters. But it also makes me want to find now as a parent, the family Pride. Now I have this new focus as a parent.

The other piece of Pride I want to talk about is capitalism. I struggle a lot with Pride because as a very visible nonbinary and transmasculine person, I see companies and organizations who show up on a daily basis throughout the year to support the LGBTQ+ community. And then there are organizations that thrive off of capitalism and rainbows who secretly donate to the right-wing and don’t actually support the LGBTQ+ community, but take advantage of acting as they do during Pride.  I really struggle with that.

These are some of my feelings on Pride. I very much think that the community should be celebrated, most definitely.

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