As pride month comes to an end, WSX wanted to share what pride meant to us as a team of people that come from different backgrounds and have different identities. Pride is very important to the LGBTQ+ community in giving an opportunity to raise awareness and be 100% authentic in who they are.
What does pride mean to you?
Desiree: “Pride to me means celebrating and honoring the work of all those who came before me. It means unapologetically taking up space and living a life as the truest version of myself, outside of norms and expectations. It means a sense of family with the community that has faced similar struggles and shares the same hope for our world. Most importantly, it means a responsibility to fight for the safety and liberation of all marginalized groups, because none of us are free until we're all free.”
Mykala: “Being able to show up authentically and be surrounded by community!”
Audrey: “Pride means creating a space where people can truly and authentically be themselves and celebrate it”
Anonymous: “Pride for me is mostly a celebration of those who came before me and those around me that finally feel safe with who they are. I have a very impersonal relationship to pride. I think it is because I distanced myself a lot from it when I was younger, uncertain of the exact reason why but as I've grown up, turned 20 and cared less about what people thought about who I chose to love, I feel more like it is for me even though I'm still not out to most people in my life. The reason for pride and how it became means a lot to me and I feel very thankful that there were people before me who fought for their right to love who they want to love”
Savannah: “ As an ally, pride is a few things to me:
1. Remembering - Remembering all the people who made it possible for people to be out and proud of who they are, particularly figures like Marsha P. Johnson and other people of color.
2. Listening - Listening to my queer friends and the greater queer community tell their stories and supporting them.
3. Celebrating - Being a part of Pride celebrations and getting to share in how wonderful love is!
4. Acting - Continuing to support measures to protect the queer community year-round.”
MK: “For me pride means living my authentic life and not hiding it for the comfort of anyone else. It means to speak up and show up for my community”
Jess: “ the celebration of those who came before us and paved the way for us”
Ollie: “To me pride means celebration, liberation, and revolution. It means celebrating my identity as a lesbian, looking back on those who made it possible for me to be out and proud, and looking to the future and how to help others gain liberation and safety in their identity“
Ana Lise: “To me, pride means being secure in your community. My favorite thing about being queer is feeling a sense of baseline connection to others based on our shared community, even if I dont know them that well. I think that having a web of people that have shared experiences with you and understand a part of you that not everyone does is really cool”
What is your favorite way to show your pride?
Mykaka: “Joking around with my friends about our crushes and watching LGBT movies.”
Anonymous: “As I've mentioned I'm only out on the internet because I don't really feel safe enough just yet to come out to friends and family in real life. So I advocate for others who are content with their sexuality, and often share it on social media, and I share organizations that work towards helping people who are apart of the LGBTQ+ community. I call it babysteps<3 “
MK: “My favorite way to show pride is to talk about being a lesbian on the internet and participating in LGBTQ+ events”
Jess: “supporting those around me in their journeys”
Ollie: “My favourite way to show my pride is in the small ways we all celebrate our communal queerness. Most of my friends are queer and nights out with drinks and conversation is when I feel the most assured and proud”
Ana Lise: “My favorite way to show my pride is to put myself in spaces surrounded by queer people or things. This could be being alone in a room with girl in red in my earbuds and a Casey McQuiston book on my lap, or at a GSA meeting with people I love and relate to with a pride flag on the wall”
Which athlete/sportsperson has been a role model/representation for you in the LGBTQ+ community?
Mykala: “ Christen Press”
Anonymous: “I have loved seeing so many footballers and basketball players be very open about their sexuality. It is refreshing to see people be so unapologetically themselves. I dont have anyone specifically that I can mention, but it feels nice to support sports where everyone is welcome to be who they are and love who they want to love without it overshadowing that they are athletes.”
MK: “A few athletes who have inspired me to live my authentic life are Mapi Leon, Jenni Hermoso, and Christen Press”
Desiree: “Natasha Cloud. She is my favorite player and seeing her live freely/hearing her talk about being part of the community was so important to helping me accept myself and giving me the confidence to come out. It's also been really amazing to see rookies like Kierstan Bell and Destanni Henderson already out and so confident in who they are without it needing to be a big reveal”
Jess: “Jake Daniels is someone I admire greatly, as he is the UK’s first out active football player. Aside from him, Kristie Mewis is a great role model for me, even aside from her being queer, she’s just a huge inspiration to me”
Ollie: “Christen Press has been a role model for me. She represents the voices of so many people through not only her football but her business and activism”
Ana lise: “Some of the first ever LGBTQ+ representation that I ever saw and felt a connection to were Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris, as well as Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird. I specifically remember what they meant to me because I discovered them around the same time I was figuring out my own identity, and I think my exposure to them at that time helped me a lot by showing me examples of thriving queer relationships in the real world”
What is something allies can do to support the LGBTQ+ community?
Mykala: “Donate money, challenge legislature and people who perpetuate harm”
Anonymous: “Donations to organizations never hurt and are often needed. Be willing to listen, learn and stay open minded. Make it a habit to comment on anti-lgbt comments or joke among friends and dare to inform them and it can be a nice start to start a conversation among friends and also inform them.”
MK: “Allies can continue to educate themselves and help LGBTQ+ organizations by donating and volunteering”
Jess: “Continue to amplify the voices of queer people, without speaking over them”
Ollie: “Continue to be curious and learn! Read books and invest in resources to help you understand and support your queer community members. Support queer advocates and recognize the richness, diversity, and beauty in our community”
Ana Lise: “Listen to members of the community, consume and promote LGBTQ media, and be public and loud about their allyship so that members of the LGBTQ community know that they are a safe person”
What is something allies can do to help keep pride a safe space?
Mykala: “Honor our labels and history. Keep intolerance out of our spaces. Respect boundaries”
Anonymous: “Be willing to learn and be more open minded! Speak up! There are several reasons why people of the community can't or won't speak up, they may be scared or have a lot to lose if they do. Use your privilege to educate others and publicly support pride and the LGBTQ+ community and you will help your closeted friends feel safe and maybe have the courage themselves to speak up”
MK: “Allies can stand up to hate instead of ignoring it and being complicit to it”
Ollie: “ Listen. Listen to what queer people have to say about their experiences and think about how you can both have fun in these spaces and also advocate for those who made those spaces a reality”
Ana Lise: “Not center themselves, mainly”
Pride means many different things to the members of WSX. We work hard to make our team an inclusive and safe space for everyone no matter their identity and support each other's journeys in every way we can.
WSX takes on pride: