‘Love is love’: LGBTQ+ young people on the importance of their sexuality
‘My sexuality and idenity mean everything to me’
To a lot of queer people, Pride and their identities are very important. Pride promotes self-acceptance, equality and gives visibility to a community which desperately needs it. It’s a safe space where we can fully embrace our identities and become part of LGBTQ+ history.
People within our community are still attacked because of their percieved sexual orientation and gender identity. The fear we have of being targeted pushes us into hiding our identity so yes, Pride is important. Pride offers us opportunity to challenge homophobic and transphobic behaviours. It also allows us a space to contribute to making the world a better and safer place for younger queer people.
The Tab spoke to four queer people on the importance of Pride and how they feel about their own sexualities and gender identity. This is what they had to say.
‘My sexuality and identity mean everything to me’
23-year-old Toby Lee James tells The Tab their sexuality and identity mean everything to them. Toby says: “My sexuality is how I express myself through my creativity, fashion and beauty. It’s made me become a version of myself that I am fully happy with.” When talking about the importance of Pride, Toby says it helps people who are stuck within their sexuality or gender identity just like Toby used to be. Toby says: “It’s okay to be who you truly are. It’s a celebration for all sexualities and it brings people together.”
‘Pride is about being able to embrace the colourfulness of human nature’
Chad tells The Tab what Pride means to him. He says: “It’s a celebration of all sexualities to show that no matter what sexuality you are, we are all accepted. Pride is what brings people together. It’s about being able to embrace the colourfulness of human nature.” He says having Pride has personally allowed him to be his own authentic self, and he’s noticed others around him are now unapologetically showing themselves. Chad continues: “Pride has also encouraged those who are shying away from who they really are to be comfortable in doing so and to be true to themselves.”
‘Every single person has a right to love who they want’
22-year-old Demi and 24-year-old Mia just got engaged to one another after being together for two years. They create LGBTQ+ content on TikTok and tell The Tab their sexuality means a lot to them. They say: “We’re extremely proud of who we are and what we represent.” Demi and Mia believe Pride is important for the community because it promotes dignity and equality and “allows us to celebrate love.” They believe it also allows LGBTQ+ individuals to have rights and hope to end the social stigma – “every single person has the right to love who they want.”
‘Love is love’
William is 21-years-old and believes Pride month is about stepping into your light and being happy in yourself. They tell The Tab: “It’s a time to have fun and enjoy celebrating life. It’s about celebrating LGBTQ+ history, fighting discrimination and honoouring difference. This is a month to show the world how amazing and proud you are. Love is love.”
The Tab’s Pride reporting series is putting a focus on highlighting LGBTQ+ issues and celebrating queer voices across UK campuses.
If you’ve got a story you’d like to tell us – whether it’s an incident of homophobia on campus, an experience you’d like to share, or anything you think we should hear, get in touch in confidence by emailing [email protected]