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Why Pride.

I wasn't entirely sure if I was going to have #Pride promos this year. I am not a fan of rainbow capitalism* and I didn't want to feel like I was participating in that.

And then a store where I worked part-time, a store that publicly prided (no pun intended) itself on being an ally, responded to last years threats of violence by ignoring the desires of its many Queer employees and gave nothing. This is a store that could afford to pay people more, and hire extra security. The claims were that it was for employee safety, but also that it was based on low sales numbers. Considering employees saw how fast it was flying off the shelves until we were ordered by corporate to remove it, I know the latter is false. At least hire extra security.

I was already feeling pretty glum, when, the next afternoon, I was out running errands, and a truck passed me, American flags flying. The driver rolled down the window and fired a handgun into the air. Just straight up! I am 100% certain it had nothing to do with me or Pride, but it scared the crap out of me!

I didn't tell anyone for nine hours.

I ran the errands. Friends came over, and we had a great day! After they went home. I was folding laundry and watching TV with my kids, and my hands started shaking. I called my mother, and she talked me down from a panic attack.

I was embarrassed to be afraid. I was embarrassed that I let this guy scare me. For a few reasons. One being that I am a bisexual woman married to a man. If you see me walking with my family in public, you will have no idea that I am not straight. I have had a few people ask me why I even bothered to come out. There are many reasons, but the second is this: because there are people that want to scare me. They want to scare me, and they want to scare people like me, and people who don't "look" straight and don't want to.

I make a living telling people that life is messy and they can get through it, and not to be ashamed. Here I was, crying and ashamed because I was scared of the sound of a gunshot. Two days later, I am laughing at myself for being ashamed of that. If it were happening to someone else, I would say "Well, or course you were scared! I would have peed my pants**!"

This is why Pride matters. Lack of fear. Lack of Shame in who you are, especially when people want you to be both.

You're going to see two promotions on my site for the month of June, specifically for this month. One of Queer business owners, and one for our Trans friends and neighbors.

I realize that posting this may make some of you decide that I am not the organizer for you. And that's okay. I know other organizers in the area. They are talented, and good people. I can recommend you to them if you would like.

But I hope this will show everyone that this is a space for everyone. And this organizer is unafraid, unashamed, and you don't need to be either.

*I don't mean what The Home Edit does, that's just selling a clever organizing system: I mean companies selling stuff to the LGBTQIA+ community to make money.)

**I didn't.

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