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Pride Month and Protest with Self Love

By Dmitri 

Hello again my dear readers, 

It’s felt like a long time since I last wrote, I’ve been so busy these past few weeks it’s almost been hard to find time to sit back and reflect. It feels like the world and especially America are in some turbulent times right now. It’s easy to look at all the anxieties piled up and just crumble under their weight. So to both alleviate some of that stress and empower those who need it, I’d like to talk about a little queer theory and a little personal philosophy.

 

June, for those who don’t know, is Pride Month for the LGBT community. It’s in June to commemorate the Stonewall riots of 1969 when members of the LGBT community rose up against police brutality and a government that did not care about them (this should ring some bells for anyone keeping up with the news). Sadly this year there will be no pride celebrations, and at a time when the community, especially young LGBT people (and even more Black LGBT people), need it most. Since quarantine started, I’ve had to watch many gay and transgender friends move back home with their parents and right back into the closet. It’s been hard, watching all their old insecurities creep back upon them; the dysphoria and discomfort. It seems to all come back to one thing, a severe loathing of their bodies.

 

About a week or so ago, around the time when protests for BLM started really ramping up, I sat in for a Telehealth therapy call with my partner. My partner’s therapist was telling us about a book she’s been reading called “The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love” by writer Sonya Renee Taylor. She described the philosophy of the book simply, that all hate can be boiled down to crimes against bodies, and that acts of self-love can be considered radical in a world where one’s body is largely hated by society. By simply viewing people as bodies, and realizing that those bodies have an inherent value to them, it’s surprising how much your views on things change. This is a revolutionary thought, and for me, this thought has most largely manifested in the welfare of trans and gender non conforming bodies (though I highly encourage you to take this thought to other places). The issues my friends are facing as they see their bodies, the issues I face sometimes when looking at my own body, can be stripped down to a core axiom; that our society equates anything that isn’t strictly cis male or cis female to something monstrous and grotesque. This pride month, every pride month, and every month we can rebel against this outdated and archaic mindset by loving ourselves and our bodies just how they are and just how we want them to be.

For now dear readers, do not be pressured into conformity, love yourself, and see you next time, 

~ Dmitri