Loud & Proud
Visibility for the LGBTQ+ community is a topic that I feel very close and that touches me deeply in a lot of different senses. During my whole life, I’ve considered myself a very authentic person and—even though I’ve grown and changed throughout the years—I’ve always tried to stay true to my essence and keep a feeling of authenticity with myself, independently of what other people may think.
But as time went by, I began to realize that, as a queer person, authenticity was not something as simple as I thought. I suddenly found myself at 25, with a whole personal path already walked through, and as I continued to discover and question my sexuality and my gender choices, I started to realize that there were things about myself that I thought were “mine” but did not really belong to me and I did not feel identified with them. We carry the burden of generations of oppression, of people who took the right to define us, of experiences where we felt excluded just for being who we are or doing what we do. And it is hard to reach a point in which you finally decide to live freely and define yourself with your own parameters.
Being queer implies learning to explore yourself, to question things that are hard to question, to find yourself far away from what somebody once told us we were—or had to be—, and having the courage to fight against all that to be able to explore the limits of the infinite and the diverse. This is why, to me, representation and visibility of the LGBTQ+ community are essential.
Counting on role models who have questioned limits allows us to realize that what seemed established really isn’t; we need people who normalize diversity without the need to label or limit individuals to a binary, heteronormative model, when there’s actually nothing more complex than human beings and the love and choices of each person as to their gender, their body, and their sexuality, among other things.
This is precisely why, while we learn to be ourselves and to find inside us answers when we question limits, it is necessary that we can be visible, that society sees us, not only to make noise and let people know that we exist, but also for all those who never had the space to question themselves, to rethink themselves, or simply to know that there is not a single reality that defines us: we are multiple and we are complex.
Today marks the beginning of LGBTQ+ Pride Month and many people wonder if there are underlying reasons behind this date, reasons connected to marketing strategies and profits. To focus on that is to completely divert the importance of this month. June is a month where we celebrate ourselves, where we shout out loud that we’re here and that we are many, that we are fighting against the hate towards our community, and that we seek equality. It is precisely these things that slowly begin to allow children to grow outside the heteronormative impositions that made many of us struggle to fit in a discourse completely alien to us.
Without much further to say, I invite all of you this month to stop perpetuating binarity, to break gender stereotypes, to explore established limits, and above all, to thank and to celebrate those who ever raised inside us the question: “Who am I and who do I want to be?”
Happy Pride Month!