Patreon members and YouTube channel members had access to this video on March 30, 2022. The video’s public release will be June 8, 2022 – over 2 months early!
Thumbnail image is of Lyric, a pale skinned nonbinary human, with short green, yellow, and orange hair, with shaved sides. They have black winged asymmetrical eyeliner, are wearing a red plunge neck shirt, and are sitting in an RV with dark wood panel walls. In front of them the words “Pride Month – Why We Need Queer Pride” in pale blue and teal text.
Hi, everyone. Welcome back Lyric here. I am the NeuroDivergent Rebel, and this month, although we often talk about autism and NeuroDiversity and those related issues, it is June. It is pride month, queer pride month… and as many non-autistic people often seem to want to remind me, I “am more than just my autism.”
Um, of course… I am a multifaceted human being with multiple intersectional identities. In addition to being Autistic, I am a queer person. I am non-binary, specifically gender fluid.
I am pansexual, someone who is attracted to people regardless of gender. Gender is a very little consideration to my attractions. I am also polyamorous, nonmonogamous, and monogamy has never made sense to me.
These things, that society tends to value in heteronormative culture, are ways that I have been told I am wrong throughout most of my life… or that the way I experience my gender identity and my orientation, and my attractions to other human beings, is wrong, much like being told, being ADHD and Autistic is wrong.
This month I’m going to talk a bit about Pride and Queer Pride, and why this is so important to those of us who fall under the LGBTQIA plus umbrella.
I am from Texas. Texas has been in the news a lot this year. Texas is not, and never has been, a particularly safe state for Queer people to grow up and live in.
I am someone who is very fortunate, in the fact that, my family at home is still very accepting of the LGBTQIA plus members of my family, including myself.
It was so much of a non-issue for me growing up that I never really felt the need to come out to anyone in my family, except for when I changed my name, because I wanted people to stop calling me by my dead name.
When I was a teenager, and I found myself attracted to people of various genders, I never thought it was a big deal, or something that needed to be announced, or shared with anyone. It was simply how I was.
I was raised in a hair salon. My mom is a hairstyle. Maybe you noticed, I have a thing for bold and vibrant hair colors.
I was around Queer People, because hair salons are often safe places for Queers to explore our identities and ourselves.
For example, a gay man taught me how to do my makeup. I grew up thinking that a man can be the best makeup artist you know, and makeup isn’t for one gender. These ideas were normal to me growing up, however, not everyone in Texas had that experience, and even though I had a very supportive home life, which I am so incredibly grateful for… when I went out into the real world and experienced people outside of the home: teachers, educators, authority, figures, church.
The message that “who you are, who you love is okay”, was replaced with “who you are, who you love is something you should be ashamed of.”
A lot of my friends, especially the guys, did not come out Queer, or never told anyone they were gay, or trans, or anything until they moved out, and were out of their parents’ homes.
Unfortunately, for Queer youths, homelessness is a big issue and, often, our parents can be the biggest danger to us. That’s why so many of us live in closets.
Violence from parents, being kicked out of your family, or your home, is a very real risk, and many people, who were my friends growing up, who could have shared with me… I would have been a safe person to share with, didn’t even share with me. I had no idea they were in the closet so hard.
Being in a closet is something you do to keep yourself safe, because the world often can be very dangerous for you, especially in the south, especially in Texas, especially in Bible belt USA.
There’s always that threat of violence, whether it is violence from your own home, violence and fear of being shut out of your family system, violence from being seen in public with your partner and having people assault you for it… or people come at you, because they see you are dressing in a way that society considers gender nonconforming.
All of these different pressures in society to conform, and put yourself away, and not be seen, not stand out, blend in, make yourself small, don’t be noticed because the world can be very hostile. It can be very dangerous. That pride, having pride in yourself, being authentic, is an act of defiance, because it can be very dangerous.
It can be very dangerous, and being able to be open and authentic, in a world that is trying very hard not to let you do that, is something that we can’t all do. I feel that, because I’m in a position where I can do this, be open, be proud, be out, share my story, share my experience, be visible. I do this because I hope, someday, my visibility, this risk I am taking, will make it so that future generations will not have to make those risks.
I hope that by showing future generations, and showing other Queer People, and Trans People, and people who fall outside of what society says is air quotes, “normal” or “desirable”.
It’s all social constructs. As an Autistic Person, you know how I feel about those social constructs.
Chunk them in the bin. No, thanks.
I want those of us, who have these differences, that society doesn’t always value, to know that it is okay to love yourself. It is okay to have pride in yourself, and if you are safe, if it’s safe to do so, it is okay for you to show that beautiful, authentic self to the world, because the alternative is living with shame, deep shame and shame kills.
Shame kills, and suicide is one of our top killers of both Autistic People and Queer People.
That isn’t because there’s anything wrong with being Queer, or being Autistic. That is because of shame, because of stigma, because society is constantly telling us that who we are isn’t good enough, and we need to be someone or something, or love someone, or just be something we’re not.
We aren’t allowed to exist and be accepted for every part of our humanity and it is killing us.
Queer pride, like Autistic Pride, isn’t just about the great things. It is about the hard things. It is necessary because of the hard things. It is necessary because society undervalues Queer People. Society undervalues Autistic People. Society tells us we are less than, and wants us to hide, and make ourselves small.
Being proud, and saying I will not shrink myself for the comfort of others, is one of the boldest acts of defiance that we can take.
All right all, thank you so much for hanging out with me this week. I hope you found this video helpful. I know it was a serious topic.
You start getting into video about Pride and you think it’s going to be happy, and rainbows, and sunshine. It got dark quick. I know… but I’m glad you’re still here, so thank you so much for watching.
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