As Pride Month draws to a close, let this first be a reminder that we, the LGBTQIA+ community, exist. We always have, and we always will. Secondly, let this also be a reminder that active allyship matters year-round and not just for the month of June. Disgustingly, but not surprisingly, too many companies rainbow wash their western social media accounts and physical premises whilst doing nothing to support the LGBTQIA+ community in parts of the world where simply living life as your authentic self could get you imprisoned or, worse still, killed.
Last Pride month, we were patiently awaiting our little baby’s arrival. This Pride month has been our first as parents. Looking back, it’s interesting to see how being parents has slightly changed how we mark Pride Month. For us, Pride has, and always will be, a protest. Our rights are still being attacked, our right to live, our right to be our authentic selves. So this month, we’ve been looking at who shows active allyship year-round and who is only doing it for June (not cool, in case you’re wondering).
We’ve also been getting Alice involved in seeing some of the various installations near us, and with Pride In London being this weekend, we are excited to be taking her on her first Pride parade with friends from football (look out for the Chelsea Pride bus!). Alice might still be a baby, but for us, getting her involved and giving her the understanding of why Pride is needed, the history and the work that is still yet to be complete is super important to us as members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Just like no child is born racist, no child is born homophobic, biphobic, transphobic or interphobic. Children learn from the environment that they’re brought up in, so bringing Alice up around diversity, inclusion, and equality is a must.
Another thing we’re planning to do with Alice is to take a photo of her each June for Pride with the Intersex-Inclusive Progress Pride Flag, which was designed last year by the wonderful Valentino Vecchietti. With Alex being trans and me (Steph) being intersex, this flag really does represent us. All too often, the trans and intersex communities are forgotten about when people talk about issues the LGBTQIA+ community face, so to see both of our community’s flags on the new design gives us some hope for the future that people will be more inclusive in their language and conversations. Alice will grow up to be a very active ally at the very least, so it will be great to be able to show her how she’s growing up around Pride and how we mark it each year. If you haven’t guessed already, Alex and I are very sentimental and prefer to take photos and videos to capture experiences rather than buying things which will only cause clutter. However, there are some things we’ve brought to show Alice when she’s older, including our friend AJ Silver’s book, Supporting Queer Birth, for which I was very honoured to be interviewed whilst pregnant with Alice. Being able to share my lived experience as an intersex person who has had many dealings with perinatal care (both negative and positive) is so important because we’re very rarely heard. It’s also why Alex and I were honoured to be part of The Positive Birth Company’s #ProudParent campaign last year.
Well, that’s how we’ve marked Pride month; quieter than we originally planned for various reasons, but as we always say – Pride is every day and not just for June! Allies show up every day of the year, call people out and pull them up on their language and behaviour when needed. So don’t let comments slide. We should be well past that now!
Finally, one last thing. This year’s world cup is being played in a country where it is illegal to simply be your authentic self if you’re LGBTQIA+, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg since Qatar abuse numerous human rights. So remember that when you see FIFA promoting equality, inclusion and diversity because if they genuinely cared, the world cup wouldn’t be held in a place where it is so unsafe for so many people.