I have been thinking a lot about the effects of isolation and Pride being cancelled has had on our members
With what should be the time we prepare for pride I am finding that many of our group members are talking about missing out – missing out because they value the camaraderie, the fun, the party atmosphere, the chance to show that we are here and we matter, or missing out because it would have been the first pride they went to, either ever or since coming out, changing name, changing pronouns, affirming surgery or any number of changes, large or small, that made looking forward to pride a new and exciting prospect.
It has been so missed that we are, in fact, running a small online pride for our members later this month, a place to express themselves and come together (virtually) in solidarity, support and community. One of our members will be running a LGBTQ+ quiz and we will be inviting all members to join us.
There has also been much talk about the way that being separated from others has affected how we feel about ourselves. Our bodies are a big part of how we interact with the world and that has been largely shut off right now.
From the freedom some have had from feeling the need to conform to expectation to the frustration at not being seen or able to dress how we feel most comfortable in a tense family home situation or the keenly felt need to be seen and acknowledged as ourselves, there have been many responses.
One thing comes across loud and clear to me, that the amount of support we are being asked for has been rising since this began, the effect that this is having on those unable to express themselves is clear – acknowledgement is needed and we can support with that.