It’s Pride Month

I haven’t written about Pride yet because I’ve felt compelled for obvious reasons to write about other stuff the past couple of posts since June began. I haven’t forgotten about the other stuff.

Black Lives Matter (still and always).
We still need to be mindful of social distancing and disease containment because of COVID 19.
Things are still weird and uncomfortable at best for almost everyone on some level, worldwide. And those feeling economic stress and/or illness right now and those experiencing curfews and state violence right now have it worse. And there is also always poverty and racism to struggle against everywhere in the world  because of unchecked ignorance and greed. Lots of things to worry about and lots of things to be upset over. And Pride got ‘canceled’ this year, because, you know…marches and parades and big gatherings are a bad idea with social distancing guidelines, so this year, Pride is…weird. Like everything else is.

But it’s still Pride.

love islove

Last year, for most of June, J and The Boy and I were traveling, so I only wrote one piece about Pride, on the very last day of June, when I was about to attend an event.

And last summer, I finished up work on a book with several main characters from the LGBT+ community, heavily featuring same-sex love stories and serious and sad themes. Not my usual Here Comes the Happy Ending Right From the Beginning, boy meets girl and falls in love and stays in easy, fun love romance. Not only was it unusual for me to write for these reasons, I was afraid to write it in a way. I was afraid I was unqualified to tell the story of a same sex romance or a LGBT+ hero. That’s clearly not my story to tell from my cishet perspective in my traditional marriage.
But I wrote it because I spent last June (and many days before and since last June) thinking about what it would be like if I’d met J, and fallen in love with J, and instead of being encouraged and supported or even just accepted and benignly ignored, I was met with hostile opposition. What if someone told me I was wrong to love J? That I couldn’t marry J? That my love for J not only offended them or even disgusted them, but that I legally shouldn’t be ALLOWED to express any love for J. And I can’t imagine that. But that’s what members of the LGBT+ community have struggled with for a long time (and continue to struggle with…among other things I take for granted). Everyone celebrates my love for J. No one is offended by our marriage or parenthood or shared affection. But so many people in the LGBT+ community are turned away because…????

And I’ve written so many pieces here about my anxiety and what a battle that is, sometimes daily, for me to maintain my preferred optimistic view of life and other people. (It sure has been a work out doing that lately), and I’ve tried to unearth the roots of where it comes from where I can. I rarely felt loved and supported by my family; I rarely formed close friendship connections. And I have cishet privilege. So I’ve never felt a drastic measure like suicide was an option to alleviate my anxiety. But I imagine if not only my anxiety was unsupported, but other parts of me…my interests and talents…my choice of friends or romantic partners…my outward self expression…my sexuality and identity…were criticized, insulted, and questioned by my family…maybe more drastic solutions would have unfortunately been on my radar.

I can’t imagine being told that parts of myself bigger than my anxiety were wrong; being told that the person I love was wrong. And that’s why I wrote Lit.

lit

And that’s also why I never put it on sale. I say that J and I are donating all sale profits from the book to The Trevor Project, but the truth is, we have given and will continue to give a lot more to that organization that works to save the lives of vulnerable LGBT+ people than my potentially goofy, self-published, possibly-but-hopefully-not-pretentious-or-disrespectful (I tried very hard to tell the story with grace and sensitivity) short novel will ever make. But I will still advertise that those profits will be donated, in the hopes that by some fluke it sells a lot of copies. So many that the dollar or two per book sold I can make can be donated in a greater amount than what J and I will already give, regardless of how many books I sell.

It feels strange at this point in time to say ‘Happy Pride.’ Because well…things in the US are not very happy right now. But I am still operating on hopeful optimism that things are going to improve. So…Happy Pride. ❤

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