PRIDE. We hear it often. We take pride in Our jobs, in Our nation, in the way We dress. Most of Us do, at least.
I’m somewhat timid about being queer. I AM proud to be out and proudly queer. I don’t have any shame burying it anymore, but I’m still timid about openly expressing My queerness and pride in it. Due to where I live most of the time, those like Me are denigrated, vilified for being different than the socially accepted gender and sexual norms of the United States in general. But I discovered I can be Me, all of Me—queer, gender nonconforming, Bi+, a Dominant/Master—when I am in Toronto.
My first ever LGBTQ Pride event was at Toronto Pride this year on June 22, 2019. A dear friend and playmate made Me up—lipstick, make-up, everything. I put on My BOUND BDSM “Under Lock and Key” t-shirt, My new black and white tartan pencil skirt, My Pride Converse Chucks and I painted My nails.
I did this with nervous anticipation. She’d assured Me that I’d be fine, that we’d be around open-minded people.
She was right.
I’ve never felt so at ease with My gender nonconformity as I did that day. I saw people exactly like Me or very close. I saw naturalists walking around with their privates hanging loose. I saw drag queens and gay men and lesbians and transgender people and straight people and people of all different skin tones and nationalities and jobs…
The list is longer.
When we went into Starbucks to grab a coffee that gender nonconforming person at the register complimented Me on my makeup—which sent My dear friend into a slight tizzy, because she’s never been complimented on her makeup and she did My makeup. I gave her credit for it in My response to the person.
Seeing the naturalists, the gay men and lesbians and, well, just everyone smiling and enjoying themselves was something I’d never experienced.
What I experienced was re-affirmation. I may have been born in a “male body,” but that doesn’t mean I have to be subjected to the societal limits imposed upon cismale bodies.
I am Me. Not what culture/society say I am.
I am also not alone.
I’ve known this for always, but it’s very different when you’re surrounded by others like you.
I anticipated experiencing dysphoria. Nothing. Just happiness. Ease.
I wasn’t a Master, a Dominant, a Mommy that day. I wasn’t gender nonconforming. I wasn’t anything other than Me.
The lesson here is that We—whether or not someone identifies as queer, is into BDSM, or whatever—all need to simply accept ourselves. Be PROUD to be you.
We may use labels to poorly represent who We are. We insist on them—like mine: queer, gender nonconforming, Dominant/Master/Mommy/Sadist—but the key to happiness, I was reminded on June 22, 2019, is to simply be who the fuck you are. There are hundreds of thousands of others like you who won’t judge you for simply being you.
So just be you.