Firstly, I want to thank everyone for engaging with this project. From reading the submissions and sharing the posts to taking the time to share such vulnerable experiences as individuals of the LGBTQ+ community. It was an honor being able to read and share these stories on my platform. It was my goal to do so in order to shed light on what it is like to be who we are and nurture a space that prioritizes advocacy through transparency, and I feel like that goal was truly met.
Yesterday, on the last day of June/Pride Month, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that business can legally discriminate against LGBTQ+ individuals. We are living in a time where people's longlasting hate for people who are not straight, white, rich or men is being displayed and backed by legislation on state, federal and national levels. Without a doubt, these things are troubling and frustrating to witness but I truly believe that our existence is resistance and as long as we are here, they will never be able to eradicate us as they wish to do. People have fought tirelessly and sacrificed their lives in order to give us a better reality as we are. Pride was originally an act of resistance and resilience and so many of our stories are reflections of that. We have been able to push through some of the toughest times of our lives and doing so continues to pave the way for those like us, in spite of all the pushback and backlash we receive while doing so. Our existence is resistance.
In spite of that, this pride month has been pretty good. I am so grateful to have been able to complete this project regardless of any hiccups. So many of the submissions touched me on a personal level and validated my thoughts and experiences as a queer woman who wasn't always where I am now. This project was for those who are still unsure, who are still in the closet and want to come out or those who never intend to do so, for those who need to know that they're not the only one at war with who they are and what they've been taught and for those who are still on the journey to understand it all. I also had hopes that this provided insight for people who do not know what it is like to be us, to provide them with a perspective they've never been forced to see and hopefully, remind them that our existence is not up for debate and how believing so can truly mean life or death for so many people. It should never come to that. I pray that people are able to open their hearts and see that from these submissions.
I can only imagine the way these submissions would have come in handy for us when we were younger.. like how many unsafe situations some of us could have avoided had we not felt obligated to be involved with people we were never interested in or simply knowing that we were not just going through a phase, that we knew the truth about ourselves before we found the words and community to validate it. Everybody, especially queer/trans youth, deserve the opportunity to live in their truth and explore who they are without being ostracized or made to feel like they are the scum of the earth. They deserve the space to just be.
If there was only one submission that resonated with someone or made them feel supported and encouraged, then that was enough for me.