Pride month means many different things for each member of the community. Sometimes it means a month to showcase what we’ve been fighting for all these years. Sometimes it means a month to reflect on who it was who started the fight for us— trailblazers like Marsha P. Johnson and many others. Sometimes it’s a time to show how proud you are to simply be you. No matter what it boils down to, Pride will always be a month of individuality, love, and acceptance.
At Hotwire, our goal is to give everyone the room they need to be themselves and live their truths. We continue to support, reflect, and educate in the best ways we can.
For that reason, we welcomed a few members of the Hotwire team who identify as a part of the LGBTQIA+ community to share some words on what this month of Pride means to them specifically.
Tammy Olson: For me, Pride extends far beyond sexual orientation. Generally speaking, LGBTQIA+ folks spend a lot of time unpacking the internalized and externalized discrimination faced in early years, so in our adult lives it takes a lot of healing, reflection and self-discovery to figure out a way to safely present the most authentic, genuine version of ourselves. That process isn’t easy, but the silver lining is it forced me to be extremely intentional about how I present myself to the world, my values, and the things I’m most proud to be. Sure, I’m proud to be openly queer, but I’m also proud of all the other labels I associate myself with, like being a good sister, daughter, aunt, niece, co-worker, and friend to all. I’m proud to associate myself with the LGBTQIA+ leaders who walked bravely before me to forge an easier path for our community, and I can only strive to contribute as much as I can to form a society that makes it easier to be your most authentic self for the generations to follow me.
Carlos Hawkins: I think that the idea behind Pride and the month of celebrating the strides we’ve made, remembering those who paved the way, and acknowledging that we still have so much more work to do going forward is so important not only for us in the LGBTQIA+ community, but also for those looking in from the outside. I think that Pride is an essential reminder that education and representation is key, because once we understand the reasons behind Pride and what the movement really means, that’s when the real work can start to be done. While someone’s sexual orientation is only a small part of who they are as a person, it’s something that so many of us have been victimized for… and the aim of turning that victimization upside down and being proud of every aspect of your truth during Pride month and for the rest of the year is what I think makes this month so special.
Mario Mejia: Pride for me is a moment to reflect, asses, and celebrate. Reflect on the personal growth as I continue to learn how to be fully myself in all aspects of life, acknowledging the confusion and painful moments that came along the way. Asses the areas of my life and self that could use some self-love and attention in hopes of becoming a better person and representative of this community. Celebrate the people before me and who will come after me who worked so tirelessly to create a more inclusive, accepting, and loving world. While there is still plenty of work to be done, Pride serves as a reminder that we really are in this together and must each play an active role in continuing the work of making the world a better place for all.
Tony Palosaari: For me pride is all about representation! I think it’s super important for kids today to see people who look, think, and/or act like them and see that as a big step forward in reaching full equality. There’s been a lot of progress no doubt, but we still have a ways to go to push us even closer to a time where coming out doesn’t have to be this big thing (or even a thing at all) that causes people to feel anxious or scared. Happy Pride!