Simply being LGBTQIA2S+ is enough

Happy Pride Month, all! This month is my first Pride as an openly Queer/Bi person.  It has been one of both celebratory moments and times mourning per usual for me as a multiply minoritized individual. I’m sure it has been the same for those of you who are non-white members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community. I came out last year on my 16th birthday. I didn't fear coming out necessarily, however I did anxiously await the reaction from others. I still do. I was very aware of the fact that it wouldn't be the last time I had to come out.

A lot has happened to my Black, Indigenous, chronically ill and LGBTQIA2S+ community. Per usual there is both good and bad. I live in North Carolina and luckily there's a fairly accepting and inclusive community less than two hours from me. I also have the internet on my side. The latter is essential for me to truly thrive.

I celebrate pride by not burying the past and acknowledging the error in misrepresentation and injustice in the present. I see my pride show when I proudly place the Bisexual Pride frame on my profile photo and dare someone to cowardly distance themselves, or better yet, make an indirect statement about me.

I enjoy the sweeter moments too: kids who don't know the gender binary and if they do, they couldn't care less or the allies and accomplices who truly care and fight for LGBTQIA2S+ community without expecting a cookie. And the rare dream-like moments when you find a safe space and know who you are. Or the moments you create content to share with the world or even "just" work in a field that inspires another person regardless of age. When you know that simply being is enough and is valid and radical on its own. I may not possess the most pride material or the resources to attend many pride and queer gatherings but I have myself, my crew, my identity, and the power of knowing that I as an individual can change the way this world sees things and if I don't, well, what's more bada** than unapologetically trying?

Jen Deerinwater