The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
One of the hardest things about being a queer woman in this political climate is hearing that my very existence is somehow “inappropriate,” “not family friendly,” or the label “groomer” being slung at the community by homophobic politicians having questionable relationships with their younger constituents. Everything the LGBTQ+ community does seems like an attack on “family values,” until queer people have families. Our safety is threatened. Queer people and their families are under attack by certain media sources and the government.
I recently went with a friend of mine to the Pride Pa’ina family event held just outside the Bishop Museum. It had a very strict “no alcohol” policy (including the vendors) to the point where everyone’s bags were checked prior to entering the event. Inside the event, there were LGBTQ+ people of all ages such as an older lesbian couple and other queer couples with their children running around, as kids always do. There were dance, cheerleading, and drag performances at different times throughout the evening. The performances were all PG rated, so nothing “inappropriate,” as Fox News might suggest.
I got to know some people at the event, such as an older woman who comes from a similar background as I do and has a family of her own. She gave me advice on how to navigate certain extended family dynamics that I can only describe as colorful at best and how to be true to myself. Honestly, I’ll never forget it. This encounter restored my hope that someday I could have a wife and children of my own (increasingly homophobic legislation be damned).
I saw booths filled with all kinds of local crafts and very tasty food. I was bullied into purchasing an $8 cake slice by my friend, and it was well worth it. Other booths had a plethora of resources for the community, such as ways to stop anti-LGBTQ+ bullying. I am almost always on edge in crowds, but I felt safe in this one. It was, in many ways, an oasis of community. I could feel an unexplained sense of family resonating within my bones.
In short, this experience taught me something valuable. In between stuffing my face with cake from local vendors and browsing pottery collections, I was hit with a sense of community and a semblance of hope for the future. Pride is family values, and attending this event proved just that.