Celebrating Pride Through Continued Generosity and Curiosity

June 24, 2024

GUEST BLOG BY Kat Besse, Policy & Regulatory Analyst

This Pride month, I celebrate myself, my partner, my friends, and my wider community. I think of this as a special year as it marks my 10th year with my partner, Erin. I am so proud of the life we built together, and how far we’ve come in the last decade.

I am also so happy to be sharing another perspective of Pride alongside my colleague, Ivon, whose moving tribute brought with it her personal journey with identity. My favorite thing about this community is our varying experiences, thoughts, feelings, and backgrounds. I love seeing this imperfect group of people change and adapt and develop.

Along with that, I truly love learning new things about my queer family. I know sometimes as we get older, it can be difficult to pick up new language, change our preferred vernacular, or even understand why we’d have to. But, if living within and loving this community over the past 16 years has taught me anything, it’s to have flexibility, and approach every chance to learn something new with kindness and curiosity. This has created areal love for hearing about someone’s identity, what it means and how best I can support them in existing in this community.

I am lucky enough to have these opportunities for discussion all the time. Recently, someone told me they were omnigender, which I’d never heard before. The internet describes it as a gender identity in which one experiences all genders while distinguishing between them as separate and unique in experience. What an amazing way to be able to describe oneself. Another recent experience had me discussing with someone who was female-bodied what it means to be transgender, nonbinary, and a lesbian. We talked about someone telling them that she didn’t think that could exist, to which the person replied, “it exists, it’s me”. And just the other day, I spoke with a friend about bisexuality erasure, and how we can do better by our bi-identified family.

These conversations are a cornerstone of many of my relationships. I have the privilege to speak openly and have my mind expanded to include all ideas, identities, and experiences. My first thought when someone teaches me something new is how exciting. How exciting that my nephews, my friends’ kids, and all other kiddos, get to grow up in a world with a wider vocabulary with which they can describe themselves. How amazing that they could create an entirely new word to say to the world who they truly are.

As Pride month comes to a close, I encourage you all to approach the world in this way. To ask when unsure, educate yourselves, and lead with generosity and openness. This is truly how I feel the most pride in my community. Let us continue to grow and change and be a joyful example of inclusivity.

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