Letter from Bijoux Indiscrets
Introduction to PRIDE
PRIDE is the entire month of June as a result of the Stonewall Uprising which took place at the end of June 1969. Stonewall was the first step in the LGBTQIA+ movement, towards a fight for a more equitable future. This is an important event that kicked off the conversation and beginning of the LGBTQIA+ movement. Now in 2023, our rights have come a long way but are still threatened on a daily basis through the marginalization and erasure of the realities LGBTQIA+ people experience. Which is why PRIDE is critical not just for celebration but activism.
Photo from CBS news
What is important to discuss?
When talking about PRIDE it is important to discuss and recognize our positionality in the discussion. Positionality is the privileges you hold by looking or being a certain way. For example, being cisgender, or fitting into the wider social scope because you dress or act a certain way that’s expected of you. Recognizing our privilege helps us to become better advocates and allies in the fight for equity. There is nothing wrong with being who you are, but it is important to recognize what society grants you in exchange for taking from others.
Being an ally is more than attending PRIDE parades and wearing a PRIDE button. It can be those things, but being an ally is so much more. Being an ally is speaking out against harm you witness or getting out and voting. Even being a support to the community or a member of a marginalized community. Most importantly, an ally informs themselves. It is not up to the marginalized communities to provide us with education, especially with the vast range of technology we have. Start your journey by getting informed.
- Look for true, accurate and supportive organizations to support and get behind. Support their works and social media through reading and sharing the information you gain from these pages. Learn more about the history of PRIDE, start with the Stonewall Uprising. Learn the names of the elders who came before and sparked the movement we all know and enjoy today. Spread the knowledge with family and friends.
- Be a support: When it comes to sharing knowledge everyone has the capacity, space or even privilege. Use what you have to create a platform for marginalized folxs such as trans, nonbinary, intersex and LGBTQIA+. If you are left to speak, then share the burden many communities face. Offer to assist someone, or be the shoulder to cry on, or just be a physical support. Your very presence in a space can make the difference. Utilize that and build a better future.
- Finally, listen. Listen to the experiences of people in these communities. Take a look at your groups of friends, are they all like you? Maybe branch out to gain a better understanding of the experiences out there or get involved in the community you are trying to help. Keep an active ear while you navigate these spaces, observe and learn or even just ask how to be a better ally. Each community and person has different needs. Explore that.
Communication and PRIDE
Communication is a major aspect of PRIDE, we are talking about communities that are historically silenced. It is critical to improve communication and that begins with removing yourself from an issue and centering those in need. You may be the person in need at that moment, so make time to center yourself as well. Think deeply about your needs and self-care, and how you intend to honor that.
Communication is not just for those around us, but for ourselves too. Communication with yourself or another person starts with honesty. First, be a bit introspective. What do you need/want/desire? Start there then build the conversation from that. We suggest having a conversation with yourself before you engage with someone else. This will help you develop boundaries and even a safety net if you are met with conflict. If you have a strong sense rooted in what you are saying, this will help the conversation, and make it even more clear if you are heading in a direction that does not meet your needs/boundaries/wants/desires.
Begin an active listener is just as important as being the conversationalist when it comes to communication. Sometimes it is hard to understand someone else’s point of view, but it is always necessary to engage and hear someone else before we decide whether to end the conversation or continue it. Active listening looks different for all of us, think about how you would like someone to show you their interest, what nonverbal cues would help. Or even ask the person how they need you to show up. Direct communication is a great way to engage and meet someone where they need you to, or find the line you both can meet at.
Ending a conversation is just as critical as starting it. Sometimes communication hits a dead end because the respect or listening of the conversation has ended. Be prepared to exit if this is the case, avoiding conflict may not always be best, so use your mind to decide if this is a conversation worth continuing or if it should be resumed at a later date.
Photo from CBS news
Connection and community are so important at PRIDE. Many people have a chosen family for various reasons, which is why it is important to show up for people, especially around PRIDE. LGBTQIA+ people are twice as likely to experience a mental health issue, be mindful of how you can support yourself or others.
This may look like acts of love, support or gestures of appreciation. I encourage you and your chosen familyto explore your love languages or outright ask what the other needs. This is the best way to facilitate a connection. Also, know when to step back and respect someone’s space if they need it. It may be hard not to take something personal, but everyone has different needs. Recognizing that can improve your connection.
Celebration with Pleasure
A lot of what we have spoken about has been serious but PRIDE is also about celebrating, and we love to do that with pleasure.
Self-pleasure is an act of rebellion, especially when you do not fit the social standard. We at Bijoux Indiscrets love to exploit our pleasure and explore all the possibilities they offer us. We suggest the same, so this PRIDE we encourage you to explore The Good Sex Hub for some inspiration on ways to play and explore!
We also want to share our picks for festival and PRIDE wear to make the most out of your pleasure and how you choose to celebrate it!
Finally, we just wanted to send a reminder to stay proud about who you are, who you love and how you have sex! There is no true way, your body is built for possibilities explore it naturally or even take it slow and really get to know yourself.