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Pride Month: Shit I’m Not Proud Of

The happiest of Pride Months to you! Granted, it’s halfway through the month already, but I kept putting off writing this because:

  1. Procrastination
  2. I didn’t know whether I should remain in my lane. Still unsure.

As a cisgender (algined with the gender I was given at birth), straight, white betch, I’m painfully aware that the only priveliged-as-fuck card I don’t carry is the ‘penis’ card, and so I couldn’t decide whether Pride was a bandwagon I could hitch myself to this month without being a colossal pest.

Thankfully, I have a gay sister whose permission I’ve obtained, and she informs me that I’m allowed. I’ll ask her to write me a note… However, she would probably insist that I am still, in fact, a pest, whatever subject matter I shoehorn myself into.

Awkward jokes aside, I do feel that respect and equality should be a basic human right (because, duh), and that everyone should have the safety and freedom to be exactly who they are. It’s ridiculous that in a lot of places in 2019, this isn’t the case.

I consider myself an ally, and I believe that rule one of Ally Club is “you must go through a phase of having the musical stylings of Tegan & Sara playing on a loop at all times.”

Joking. Sort of. In my opinion, the most important thing you can do as a semi-decent human with a penchant for folksy/electronic tunes with lots of feelings in them is to always be learning. It’s okay to admit when you’ve been wrong, as long as you learn from it.

So, with cringy, twisty guts, here goes nothing!

Shit I’m not proud of this Pride Month

I used to use the word “gay” as a derogatory adjective

I’m aware that this is something that’s fallen out of fashion since the early noughties, and so it isn’t as much of an issue anymore, but I do still hear this kind of talk from time to time. Usually from the kind of person who thinks that being a total dick to someone is alright if you then refer to it as “banter” (the only word in the English language worse than “moist”. Keep your moist banter away from me, bro!).

In my teens and early twenties, anything a bit lame in my eyes (because I was the epitome of cool with my spot-infested chin and jeans that drank puddles) was “gay.” I feel especially yucky about this when I think of anyone who’s on the fence about making their sexual orientation known hearing constant reminders that an important part of them is equated with negativity like that. I never had any intention of putting down anyone who wasn’t straight, but words do matter, and their effect can be accumulative, whatever the intentions behind it.

I used to worry about certain clothes making me look “butch”

Teen Becky: “Can’t wear that, my arms look too butch.” etc. etc.

How?! And so what? I’ve never considered myself to be homophobic. I’ve always sat in the ‘you do you’ camp, and yet, as a teenager, I was terrified of people thinking I looked ‘a bit butch.’ I think this stemmed from a couple of things:

  1. Terror of being seen as ‘different’ in any kind of way. Despite the eyeliner that took up half my face and grotty, pink flares and mesh tops that I lived in, I also carried with me the desire to be invisible. Makes total sense.
  2. Growing up in 90’s diet culture. You could be a tomboy, but you had to be thin and feminine whilst doing it.

Been ‘that arsehole’ at a gay bar

I LOVE gay bars. The music, the drag queens, the sense of literal gay abandon! Everything is just better. Plus, the DJs invariably seem to have Kesha available upon request. Love, love, love them. However, when I first started frequenting them, and I cringe to recall this, I thought I was the actual shit. Look how cool I was going to gay bars, I’m so quirky!

It wasn’t until I read an interview with RuPaul (can’t find the original interview, but here is the gist) that I realised I was being a total fuckmuppet. One thing he said that stuck with me was:

“People who live in the mainstream and the status quo think that everyone else is there to serve them.”

While I was being perfectly friendly, or at least drunk Becky’s idea of friendly – buying shots for all and sundry, whether they asked for them or not, I was still unwittingly being an obnoxious div. I love that the majority of LGBTQ+ spaces are welcoming to the cis, straight masses, but it’s important to remember what these spaces represent and to maybe, y’know, dial it back a little and let someone else harangue the DJ for a bit.

I’m sure I have a lot more to learn about being a respectful member of this delightful mish-mash of humans we call society, and I’m open to admitting my clangers in judgement, or which I’m certain I’ll make more of as I go along.

I wonder what kind of embarrassing stuff I’ll be confessing to come Pride Month 2029? Perhaps writing a blog post on which I have no authority? Could well be!

What thoughts or behaviours have you learned from, or what originally well-intentioned muck-ups have you witnessed in others? I’d love to start a discussion. Let me know in the comments 🙂