By Christopher Parker | 30 June 2020
I’m a gay bi-racial man born and raised in the south. Like you, I’m also coping with social unrest, economic recession, and a deadly pandemic. So, heyyy fam!
Obviously, a Covid-19 mask can’t keep my voice down and there’s some things I want to help everyone to navigate. I’m here to speak out during this exciting part of the year (PRIDE) and remind everyone how we can continue to #nav this now and the rest of the year.
Navigating PRIDE means remembering the past.
Pride commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, a series of violent protests sparked by a police raid of the New York City club Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. Since then, we gained the right to marry and serve in the military despite sexuality, then lost our protections to serve as transgender in the military. (Woof, what rollercoaster).
Navigating this moment means celebrating our wins.
As a bi-racial fella, I have never felt so free to be my whole, true-self. Part of the reason for that is the result of our most recent fight against discrimination.
The Supreme Court said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination “because of sex,” includes gay and transgender employees. Fam, this means I can be my whole, true-self loving whomever at my place of employment without the threat of losing my livelihood and home.
For years, LBGTQIA have avoided living and working in particular areas as a result of discrimnation not explicitly banned by our federal government. The new liberty opens the doors to new opportunities, but also new fights.
Pride means embracing our allies and using our voices to continue to fight and uplift.
It has been super important that my family and friends have all joined in and spoken their true beliefs. And I mean family however YOU define it from your latent adoptive kinship, to your drag family, to your incredibly supportive bio family – like mine. (Shout out to my super supportive family in Tennessee!)
It’s never been more important to share your story and encourage others to use their voice to be the positive change.
Navigating PRIDE means standing with other minority groups that suffer discrimnation.
Acknowledge the hurt and pain of other minority groups and fight with and for them. Let your voices be heard. After all, we’re here, we’re queer, and we know how to organize (and color coordinate).
Just like we can’t change who we are, skin tone can’t change either.
Navigating PRIDE means remembering that money is a tool.
- Use the golden rule. Spend your money not just wisely, but consciously. Don’t financially support the companies that don’t support you.
- The Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25
- The Point Foundation the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students of merit. Point promotes change through scholarship funding, mentorship, leadership development, and community service training.
- Southern Poverty Law Center seeks justice for the most vulnerable in our society and fighting hate in courtrooms and classrooms throughout the nation
It’s also remembering money isn’t the only tool.
Free ways to support PRIDE year round:
- Speak your truth. In the wise words of Jonathon Van Ness, “Being normal is completely unique, because nobody is the same. Normal, honey? Who is she anyway?”
- Assert your pronouns and acknowledge others.
- Vote – not just the big elections but at all levels.
Last of all, remember that for the LGBTQIA community, PRIDE doesn’t end with the close of this month. It takes courage day-in and day-out to speak your truth and continue fighting for what’s right. Financial #FREEdom means a lot less without personal freedom.
Christopher Parker works in marketing and sales. With well-decorated accomplishments in his career, he looks forward to new opportunities in real estate. A previous pet father to a very handsome Great Dane, Christopher is taking the time to travel and explore his late 20’s. A recent transplant from Tennessee to Florida, Christopher is exploring, traveling (pre and post Covid), and enjoying the beach with friends.
Reach out to him on Instagram at CWParker26