In the Spotlight: Pride Month

"The Quiver of Love. A collection of Valentines ancient and modern. With illustrations, in colors, ... by W. Crane and Kate Greenaway"

In honour of Pride Month, we decided to conduct interviews with 3 different people across the LGBTQ+ spectrum about their experiences. Below are some of the especially noteworthy answers to each question. For the full interviews, check out the videos at our IGTV.

Where on the spectrum do you consider yourself to be?

On the sexuality spectrum: I am bisexual, maybe pansexual, I’m not entirely sure, but I’m definitely bi.

On the gender spectrum: I identify as nonbinary, because sometimes I feel more female and sometimes I feel more male, it really depends on a lot of stuff but I generally try not to obsess about it too much so I’ll leave it vague, as nonbinary.

  • Anjali Mallampooty (12th grade)

Did you ever feel the need to come out to people? Why?

Sometimes I do, I mean it depends on the situation, because people will be like, “Do you have a boyfriend or something?” and sometimes I’ll say, “I had a boyfriend, but I also had a girlfriend,” so it just happens to come out sometimes.

  • Reha Markose (12th grade)

How was your coming out experience? (if they had one) How did your friends and family react?

With my friends I’m pretty open about it, and my parents are pretty cool about it, its quite funny actually

  • Reha Markose (12th grade)

The people I knew were very supportive and it wasn’t really a significant event. They were all really supportive of who I was. There’s not much of a story there. But I’m really grateful for the people who are close to me and who are supportive of me.

  • Anonymous (11th grade)

Is Pride Month special to you? If so, why?

We’re a community that has been denied equal rights and just oppressed for so long that I think it’s an important celebration of our identities and as one of the marginalised communities I think it's important that we cherish the history of Pride, that we remember the struggle because the origin of Pride Month is the Stonewall Riots.

So I think it's important and the reason I celebrate it is because even though we’re going forward and over the course of history we have made progress, come much further than we were before, it's also important to remember where we came from because a lot of the members of the LGBTQ+ community take their freedom for granted and that’s kind of disheartening to see. So I think it's about remembering all the struggles that were involved in cherishing who we are.

  • Anonymous (11th grade)

Have you ever faced any struggles mentally when understanding your sexuality?

Umm yeah, I have. Mostly due to the kinds of stereotypes that are propagated through mainstream media, mainstream cinema and even literature. When I was growing up I thought that if I was to be homosexual there is a certain way I had to be. Like, I’m sure all of you have seen the ‘typical gay bestfriend’ who’s always more of a feminist and that typical fashion diva. So one of the things I thought when I was growing up was that a homosexual had to be like that and it’s not just being attracted to a person of the same sex.

  • Anonymous (11th grade)

How and when did you realize you were on the spectrum?

As a kid I decided to write an essay about my sexuality, I don’t know why, I don’t remember, but I do know that I was like, “hmm, this kind of seems like me.” So when I first realised I was bi, I told my mom and she said “It’s just a phase.” But this is like, when I was in fifth grade so I can see why she’d say that, and since then I haven’t really talked about it to her. After the entire “It’s just a phase” thing happened with my mom, I kind of put it on the backburner, and when I got to like seventh, eighth grade, I kinda realised that “hey that’s still true about me.”

As for gender, I always kind of felt that way? I never really realised it was a thing until in school we had one of those talks about growing up, so it was really weird, that was when I realised I identified that way.

  • Anjali Mallampooty (12th grade)

Is there anything you’d like to say to people struggling to figure out their sexuality?

Don’t force it. You don’t have to put a name to it, you don’t have to put a label to it, just go with what feels natural, and with what feels like you. And kind of just have a strong sense of what you are and what you’re not, because people always change.

  • Anjali Mallampooty (12th grade)

Just that it's okay to be unsure and in the current age we’re living in, we have access to all that information. The important thing I want to say to everybody is that you should cherish who you are. You should love yourself no matter who you are. It’s okay if you take time to figure it out but also to be accepting of others. Because the one thing I’ve noticed within the LGBTQ+ community is that certain people are not accepting of others in the community. For example, there are a lot of people that believe that pansexuality shouldn’t even be considered because they think pansexuality and bisexuality are essentially the same thing and using a term such as pansexuality could be transphobic and i obviously strongly disagree to. And i just want to say, if you make a choice to be a part of this community you need to understand that a lot of people are struggling so be as accepting to others as you would like them to be of you.

  • Anonymous (9th grade)

What do you think the future holds for the LGBTQ+ community?

We still have a long way to go in terms of people accepting us and getting equal rights but I'm hopeful because we’ve come this far, so you know, what's a little more. And i just appreciate this community because even through its struggles is so full of hope and love for everyone. Like i believe, for example, in my perspective at least, if someone homophobic comes up to me, my reaction wouldn’t be ‘get the hell away from me’, I’d be opening to listening to them because from my point of view, any homophobic person is just another person to be convinced to love.This community is all about love and I’m as hopeful as ever.

  • Anonymous (11th grade)

As June comes to a close, it’s crucial to remember talking about LGBTQ+ issues and the importance of Pride shouldn’t be extended to just a month of your time - as a society, we should work towards including these topics in our lives past this month and make sure they aren’t forgotten. Whether this be through being a helpful ally, donating to important organisations or even just discussing these issues with your parents, friends, classmates, and increasing awareness. Below are some resources to further educate yourself: The History Of Pride Month And What It Can Teach Us About Moving Forward Today:

How to learn to be a better ally:

What are personal pronouns and why do they matter?

If you ever need someone to talk to about (regarding your sexuality/gender): 

~ Gauri and Sanvi

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