Avery reached out to us earlier this month to be a guest blogger! Here at Pride, we believe it is so important to have our youth included in our efforts, and we are thrilled to share Avery’s blog post with you all. <3
The world is a scary place right now; nobody can deny that. It seems that every day is another horrifying news story, another few hundred tales of violence. Being a part of the LGBTQ+ community is scary, to say the least. Most of the world still wishes death upon us for something we can’t help. Even in our relatively tolerant society, it seems like “traditional Albertans” are far from accepting us. It’s not hard to feel isolated and alone, even with the knowledge that there are others like you. It certainly feels as if our world is on the verge of some big change, though it’s hard to say exactly what that entails. Hopefully, we will be ushered towards an even more open world, and the horrors of our past will bring rightful shock to new generations.
My cynical ramblings, however, really only prove one thing; how easy it is to get wrapped up in negativity. Even in my lifetime, Canada’s views have changed for the better. Since 2005, same-sex marriages have been legal everywhere within our borders (a whole decade before the States caught on)! Casual, daily homophobia in speech is still rampant – but not nearly as much as it was when, say, my parents were in school. The numbers still seem large, but the site does fail to take joking/reclaimed language from actual queer people into account. In the past month alone, Airdrie has made great progress towards LGBTQ+ acceptance, due in no small part to Airdrie Pride. The announcement of the Transgender Day of Awareness, along with the transgender flag being flown on the old Fire Hall, was a great beacon of hope and support to many people. Some people in this city are as cold as its climate suggests; a reminder of solidarity and support means the world to many of us
Support for queer students in schools, whether they are out or closeted, has become more readily available in the past few years. Gay-straight alliances are more prominent now than ever, many of them with far more inclusive names. Many of them are completely safe spaces for students now, regardless of home situations.
Coming out wasn’t easy for me, as is usually the case. Insecurities bled into everything I did for many years, and the pressure mounted until it was almost too much to bear. For most people, coming out is not even one process but an infinite current. Most people, of course, don’t choose to announce such a life-changing thing through the anonymity of Instagram. I’m one of the lucky few who knew that I wouldn’t be kicked out of my home, and even still it was terrifying. It was a matter of getting the words out; of truly and fully communicating who I am. I spent many years believing I was quite possibly the only queer person in the entirety of the city. To be freed from that made-up burden, to connect further with the people in the community, was one of the most important things that has ever happened to me. It’s painful to think that so relatively few people are granted this luxury.
Keep your heads held high towards the future. Change is coming, and your voice – however silenced it may feel – will be heard.
“I’m a teenager who’s lived in Airdrie for most of my life, and I’ve been writing even longer. I’m bisexual, and obnoxiously proud of it.”