Having trans representation at Pride is important for the community, both the Trans community, and the cis LGB community. Along with my own view, I’ve also interlaces comments from other community members about why it is important to them to have Trans Pride at Pride. In the Trans community, there are many who understandably want to sit Pride out, burnt out by experiences of not being represented, actively being excluded and disrespected at Pride events and in cis LGB spaces. Self-care in important. For those who can, its important to be there for the youth coming to Pride to get information, for people from less populated areas who don’t have access to the information, organizations and resources we have in Las Vegas, and to be the representation that we want to see at these events. We are the L the G and the B, as well as the Q I and A. For many Pride is multidimensional. “Many transgender people also represent other aspects of the LGBTQ community. We need to be seen as our true selves not as society deems we should be, be it GNC, FTM, MTF, Fluid, Non Binary, or any other variation. Everyone should be included and embrace to live as the feel and to not be suppressed.” Having space at Pride, to make decisions and to collaborate, enables the Trans community to speak for itself, to make sure the interests of the Trans community are considered, and to foster leadership and networking to support transfolks. Trans people have always been a part of the movement. “Trans women were in the beginning of the equality revolution and now we are often not even included in cis LGB spaces, organizations, boards, that’s why visibly in important.” Pride, as it is celebrated now, is not a protest. It is a party. We also need protest and other forms of activism and action, but carving out a space to celebrate ourselves is also a political statement. It is also activism. Self-love in the face of criticism from the outside world is an act of resistance. “Pride is about being able to live your reality, unafraid and unashamed for being who you are.” “Not having to live in stealth mode to fit in within hetero-normative constructs. It’s freeing to be accepted as a spouse of a trans man, and not go into why we didn’t have children. Celebrating Pride together is also advocacy. Providing information about resources to people who are just connecting, who are just coming out, who are just transitioning, is essential to receive, and also healing to give. Having space to celebrate inclusion in queer spaces is magical and empowering. “Pride is about celebrating what the community has been through. Where we came from to where we are now. Celebrating victories and reflecting on losses. Transgender people have been through the struggles the rejection the problems. They have been there to fight for everyone.”
It’s also important to have Trans-focused events, there, and in the future. But we should always have a space at Pride. If people are not being included, lets work to include them. If we are not being represented, let’s make ourselves heard and seen, and step up to take control and make our own decisions about how we will be included. I can’t wait and hope that others will guess at what’s right. Only we have the experience to provide that.
Pride is also about connecting with allies, doing more together than we could do alone. “Everyone should have their place as well as cisgender straight allies. We should all be included in the celebration in the unity that Pride should be representative of. All any of us can truly ask for is respect and to be treated as equals. To exclude a portion of people because they are not gay enough or they are not like you is not what anyone has worked for. It is not what pride is supposed to be about.”
For me, being at Pride is an opportunity to also educate the whole community about the trans community, and to work to improve. No one will do it while we’re gone. Please come out this weekend in Las Vegas and help celebrate 50 years of Stonewall.