Pride Is More Than Glitter: JP
Kiki-ing with The All-You-Can-Slay Buffet
YAS, June is PRIDE month! It is the time when the community comes together to commemorate the Stonewall Riots and celebrate our LGBTQ brothers, sisters, and folks in between. We kiki'd with JP of ((305)) NYC to get the tea behind all the glitter and rainbows.
Starting things off, what does "pride" mean to you?
Pride means knowing and loving who you are. Knowing and loving the good, the bad and the ugly, all the different facets that make you uniquely you and not letting anyone diminish that.
Preach! What was your "coming out" experience like?
I was super fortunate and did not have a challenging coming out experience. I actually never really “came out”. My family and friends were well aware that I was gay from a young age, but I didn’t openly say it with pride, until I felt comfortable talking about my “romantic endeavors” -- Thank you sleep away camp!
I was very lucky to grow up in a household and in a hometown that was so open and welcoming to everyone, and I didn’t feel like I needed to sit down with my parents and express to them that I was gay since my straight brother and sister never had to come out to my parents as straight. I didn’t see it as that big of a deal.
We hear ya! Do you have any advice for anyone going through the coming out process?
When you know, you know! If you feel something about yourself and someone else tries to shut that down, or put you into a box you don’t feel you fit into, don’t let that confuse or convince you that what you feel isn’t real. I knew from such a young age that I felt more effeminate than maybe the little boy next door did. I didn’t know that wasn’t “normal” or even exactly what that meant but I knew it was my truth. And it’s okay if you don’t feel pride in yourself just yet, that takes time and struggles, but just know that what you feel about yourself and how you identify is never wrong.
True that! Why do you think it's important to commemorate Pride Month?
During Pride month, it’s important to remember and learn about the names of the people who lived and fought for the rights that us, LGBTQ millennials, live with today. We don't know their stories enough and don’t give the generations before us enough credit. I wouldn’t be writing this today if the generations before hadn’t fought, lived their lives to the fullest and died for our rights as equal humans.
Finally, what do you hope for the future generation of LGBTQ youth?
I hope as time and the world progresses more LGBTQ youth don’t feel the need to come out. I never want the pride in who we are to falter, but I want the world to be so understanding that being gay or queer becomes a characteristic to us that we no longer feel we have to “confess.”
I would hope the ordeal or trauma that a lot of LGBTQ youth experienced with their coming out experiences becomes less of a regularity because one day, we will live in a world where being a straight, cis gender, human isn’t the assumption. I hope we live in a world that when you’re ready, even if you are a straight, cis gender human, we all get a big gay old coming out party, that says, “Hey congrats on being you!
Come on, circuit queens!
We know you love to dance. We know you love to sweat. We know you love to be sexy. And we KNOW you love to throw shade and spill the well-brewed tea. Sign up for 305 Pride and Rainbow 🌈 classes all month long.
P.S. Duh you can come if you don't identify as LGBTQ but you are a proud ally. As always, all are welcome.