This week-end in San Francisco was going to be one of the biggest annual events, but due to the pandemic, everything is virtual. But in a conversation with my sheltered friends (they’re cisgendered) about how I could express pride, I was having trouble figuring out how I could make the jump from a life of low self-esteem made medium esteem to actually feeling pride about who I am. But I took up a bag I just sewed together and said I was actually proud of this bag that I figured out how to make, sometimes out of fabric remnants. I was also in the process of making my own Trans Pride Flag from what turned out to be difficult to find pieces of fabric because the fabric store is closed and I couldn’t get similar fabric types in all colors. Anyway, I ended up recycling a shirt for the white band… Here it is, hanging in front of the house, where people hang flags, most often patriotic ones, which raises a point of thinking about what is pride for those people? Is it belonging to a group you identify with? Being part of a country that has serious issues of bullying and has a bully as its president? That they accepted for 4 years now? I wonder.
Putting aside the memories of crushing any self expression when I was a child, today I am proud of who I am, and I want others to recognize that I exist. I also want others to recognize that their patriotic or religious pride has been hiding racism and transphobia, not to add misogyny and homophobia. By existing, by walking around and letting them figure out whether I should fit in their narrow view of the binary, or just let go, I am expressing pride in who I am.
But it’s a lifelong battle. I learned that in these months of sheltering, people no longer care about personal appearance, which was great news to me. There’s less pressure to conform to expectations. Although I should add that zoom meetings have been difficult because I constantly have a mirror in front of me, and I hear my voice as not the voice of the person I want to be. Yet, it was great to care less about the image in the bathroom, and it was great to use a mask or scarf to cover the lower part of my face, so there’s less scrutiny at the store.
I am happy that this year marks a kind of point of no return for abolishing systemic racism, not only in this country, but in others where people keep denying its existence. I guess it was obvious to me when I feared the scrutiny of others about my gender, that people of color have experienced much worse on a daily basis. So I’m proud of who I am, but I’m not proud of being part of a larger group that discriminates. That has always been an issue for me, that big movements were led by people who laughed at me, so why should I join them? Now I think a greater number of people have said enough of that, let’s examine what we’ve been complicit with, and change.
p.s. I am confused by the new WordPress editor… I inserted images both inline and as individual blocks for now. Hopefully this looks ok.