Queer College Women On How They Are Acting Up & Celebrating Pride in 2018

LGBTQ+ Pride Month is a time of amazing, colorful marches throughout the month, where so many people come together to make a stand for equality. Pride Marches in the US have become more celebratory in recent years, as more people are attending and participating, and more organizations are taking part in the events. The positive outlook might have to do with the major support of same-sex marriage from the public, and the Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.

Even with those victories, Pride celebrations in 2018 might feel a little bit different though for many. The election of Donald Trump and state policies against LGBTQ+ rights like Trump's ban on transgender people from serving in the military. And how North Carolina passed a law that banned transgender people from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. Similar states like Texas has also passed similar laws. Many have grown afraid to come out for Pride in their state. And even around the world, there are still so many people who are being persecuted for both their gender identity and their sexual orientation.

Pride is meant to be a positive stance against discrimination in the community and to fight the political and culture battle for equality. It is a time to celebrate a person’s true identity. It’s a time to let your voice be heard and be the voice for others who don’t have the privilege to celebrate and be outspoken about who they are. It is a time to build friendships, to meet new people, to open your mind and learn about other’s identities. Pride is a time to create your own space, a safe place to celebrate you.

Her Campus asked queer/LGBTQ+ college women what Pride meant to them and how they planned to celebrate Pride in 2018. Here's what they had to say: 

Pride in 2018 is the freedom to be yourself and to be happy without the fear.

“Pride in the year 2018 means that I have the ability to be who I am around the people who care about me, even if that means that I am not out in all aspects of my life. The year is 20gayteen so as you can imagine this means that it is seen as more socially acceptable to be out and to be your true self.” - Anonymous, Winona State University.

“That everyone deserves to be respected for being themselves and that people should be able to do whatever makes them happy without fear of what others will think.” - Hannah, Marymount Manhattan College.

In Year Two of Trump, why would Pride 2018 feel different to you?  

“It’s different now because we need to show Trump and his supporters that we do no stand for hate or bullying towards the LGBTQ+ community in this country. And that we can rise above whatever he says.” - Hannah, Marymount Manhattan College.

“I think that this climate is one of the reasons why I am still not out in all aspects of my life as there are still some hateful people in the world. I also believe that with Trump being the President that it has brought the community together as we realize that when we are together we can do anything that we put our mind to and that as a community we can advocate for topics that we believe in and spread the word around the world.” - Anonymous, Winona State University.

Pride in 2018 is about celebration, community, protest, and political action.

“This year I am attending NYC Pride with my school to show support and spread love. I’ve been inspired to share what I believe in.” - Hannah, Marymount Manhattan College.

“I will be celebrating Pride by going to the Pride Festival in the Twin Cities on June 23. I will be going with some of my close friends and we plan on partying and celebrating just as we have in the past when we have gone, but this year is a little more special as this is the first time I will be going while being out in part of my life. This year will hopefully be the best Pride yet!” - Anonymous, Winona State University.

And, of course, it's about honoring the intersections.

“I am Jewish and Bisexual. I attended Pride in Tel Aviv this year. And it was liberating. As a Jew, I face antisemitism all the time. And it’s so rarely talked about as a legitimate form of oppression. And I am also bisexual. And we’ve all seen the anti-LGBTQ headlines. So getting to be in Israel and away from Trump where I can celebrate without fear or inhibition was such an amazing experience. It’s unfortunate that it took me having to leave the country and travel halfway around the world to feel this safe. I hope that the US can feel this way for me and my fellow LGBTQ Jews in the future.” - Stephanie Black.

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