If you’re not ready to join the parade, or just want to keep things to yourself, I promise, this month is still for you.
Pride is more than a month. I know that, you know that, and the entire LGBTQIA+ community knows that. June, aka Pride Month, is a time meant to amplify feelings of reclaimed sexual identity and gender expression, as well as play homage to those that fought so hard for a more equal world. From large rainbow flags flying in the wind, to parades filled with people who’ve found happiness in themselves, it’s hard not to cheer this resilient community on.
But what if you don’t want to just support from the sidelines anymore?
If you find yourself scrolling on insta both wishing you could celebrate and feeling anxious about coming out, you’re not alone. I know first hand how intimidating Pride can be when you’re just starting out on your own journey of self discovery. The personal leaps you’ve taken to admitting who does or doesn’t sexually/romantically attract you, feel like baby steps in comparison to your peers. The reveal of beautiful—and safe—coming out stories is inspiring and disheartening at the same time. Of course you’re happy someone has reached that point in their journey, but you can’t help thinking about how you’re just—
Not there yet.
Though you know you shouldn’t, there’s a part of you that just wants to rush the whole process. You want to belong to this wonderful community so badly you leap before you’re ready. You know where that’ll lead you? With a shaky sense of self, a harder connection to your pride, and a potentially unsafe environment.
Some people can’t wait to wave their flags at every opportunity, but—and I can’t stress this enough—you don’t need to be “out” to celebrate your pride.
Take your time, Pride isn’t going anywhere.
It may sound cliche but it’s true! You have all the time in the world to figure out who you are, and the best part? You don’t need to shine a light on every single facet of yourself A.S.A.P.
Labels are subjective, and they’re also subject to change. Take Gigi Gorgeous for example, she’s a wonderful makeup artist, influencer, and advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community, who’s come out multiple times! Nothing is set in stone and it’s okay if your initial orientation changes over the course of your life.
On a similar note, if you’re anything like me labeling your orientation in general might not be your thing.
Sure you logistically understand where you fit on the sexuality spectrum, however you might not feel connected to the term as a whole. Although I fall under the bisexual umbrella, the label never clicked with me on a personal level, and as I got older I realized it was because my love didn’t need labels. I was happy to exist without them. The urge to put a name to how I felt was strong at first, but it faded the more secure I became in myself.
However you choose (or don’t choose) to identify is completely up to you. The people who love you will be there to support you when/if you decide to tell them, so don’t rush.
Take your time, and when you’re ready the rainbow community will be there to cheer you on!
Different ways to rock your flag(s), from personal to discreet.
Whether you’re naturally private and don’t feel comfortable in huge crowds, or are surrounded by assholes who’re scared of your power, not being ready, or safely able, to tell the world about your pride doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate it!
If you’re looking for subtlety, try grabbing yourself a slice of pride!
There are many LGBTQIA+ friendly bakeries that sell treats from individual rainbow cakes to delicious rainbow cookies (or alternatively you can bake them yourself!). Stores like Hot Topic are stocked with awesome pins, laces, overalls, etc. that you can attach to your backpack or shirts for an extra punch (I recommend buying a few of these things ahead of time and incorporating it into your wardrobe a.s.a.p. This way when you wear it in June no one will suspect anything).
If you need something a bit more discreet, one dope idea is to wear your flag(s).
No I don’t mean literally, I mean secretly. Buy a few clothing items of your choice in the color of your flag(s) and assemble them into several rockin’ outfits throughout the month. For example: if you’re trans and want to wear the trans flag discreetly (for which the colors are pink, white, and blue) you could wear blue jeans, a white shirt, and a pink button down or jacket. Reverse the order, switch up the styles, dye your hair—do whatever it takes!
This month is for you.
This month is for you.
This month is for you.
With strength, safety, and love,