Ok so it's pride month, which means one thing right? It's party time! But for me pride is more than getting wasted and waking up in someone else's bed or with a blurred memory and pounding head. Partying of course is a key ingredient as is music and dancing bringing us all together, but it's also about reminding ourselves that the first pride was a riot! Due to the accumulation of simmering anger because of the injustice and suffering felt and lived on a daily basis. With that in mind Pride should be about being proud of your differences and celebrating the freedoms we've inherited due to those who fought vigorously for their/our rights.
In 2017 we've come far but we still have a long way to go! I pray for the day that coming out is no longer a thing it's just a way of being, I long for a day that no one has to hide being queer from parents, colleagues, teachers etc and wherever/ whenever you can be open about who you are without feeling a burden or carrying shame. I pray for the day that being gay is no longer frowned upon and is legal in all countries of the world. I pray for the day that marriage is allowed and to put it simply all rights that are cisgender, heterosexual brothers and sisters have we also do to.
One thing I can say is that this year I've seen the rainbow flag across various products from chocolates, sweets to clothing store windows. This seems to be an awakening of sorts as I haven't ever seen the rainbow this visible ever! Of course this is a good thing as visibility leads to education and acknowledgment.
My main issue is that many of these brands refuse or simply don't want to give back to the community in which they wish to take the 'pink pound' from they see it simply as a marketing ploy to be seen as hip, cool and accepting. But if they refuse to put money back into the community that they seek 'the pink pound' from then I can't help feel that they're in someway exploiting us. There's many charities and organisations that are in desperate need of help/ funding. It's also about asking simple questions, Are these brands proud for the moment or proud for the month/ day? Do they cast gay models? Do they have gay members on their board of directors?
For me its about aligning/ spending my money with compassionate and caring companies, who respect all their customers and want to highlight the importance of pride and in turn raise funds for projects, charities and organisations that make a genuine difference to the LGBTQ community and individuals lives.