Pride month is done, but there are Pride parades in July if you’d still like to attend. Muddies will be at the Tacoma and Bellingham pride festivals, so if you’re planning on visiting, please stop by.
- Tacoma Pride Festival: July 14th
- Bellingham Pride Festival: July 15th
For the third part of our series, we asked two Muddies to talk about their hopes for the future of Pride, the community and our society.
Concerning the future of diversity, I figure no matter what society you’re part of, you’re always going to have something to improve; to strive for. It’s not about meeting specific goals and you’re done, but constantly improving in lots of different areas. The perfect society is an illusion.
I hope that everyone keeps working on fighting for certain freedoms, while knowing that they’re on a journey that will probably never end. One of my favorite quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr is, “The arch of history is long, but it points towards justice.”
I’m also a bit of a Trekkie, and one of the things I love about Star Trek is it’s this optimistic view of the future of the universe. Sure, it’s super nerdy, but it’s also incredibly inspiring. In Star Trek, they respect other alien cultures and they’re not concerned about human races at all. It’s a good allegory for how we should treat people in this world, and how we should treat anyone (alien or human or animal) with the same amount of respect. That’s why when we talk about our future, my mind often goes to the Federation as the kind of direction I would like to see us go.
If someone thinks that they want to become an ally, that’s a terrific first step to advancing our society. I mean, already their heart is in the right place. Some people don’t even get it but they’re happy to support others’ struggle anyway. One way that I like to describe people who feel this way is that they don’t understand but they’re understanding. And so even though I don’t really announce that I’m trans, I’m always happy to answer questions if people have them. Curiosity should be rewarded and not shot down for asking, “The wrong questions”. That’s the wrong approach to making allies, in my opinion.
I just try to model my actions on how I hope everyone will treat everyone else in the future. I put myself in their shoes. Everyone I meet is my friend – even if they don’t know it yet! Life for me is simple, I work on my own happiness and do my best to earn other people’s respect by being a good person. And I think if more people worked on those two things, we might just reach that future I dream of!
~ Store Staff Member Mark Perkins, 4 years at Mud Bay
Right now, it seems like the white and cisgender people in the community get a large amount of the media coverage given to queer people. In some ways, the face of being queer is of a white gay male. But there are a lot of other faces and voices in the community that deserve equal coverage.
I feel that we’re making baby steps in the right direction, but there’s still a long way to go. I feel the same way about the level of corporate capital being spent at Pride events. It’s definitely great that so many companies are supporting us at Pride. But at the same time, it’s important that the company is also working the other 11 months of the year to offer support to queer employees and the community in general.
There could also be better support for younger members of the community. I was fourteen or fifteen when I went to my first Pride, and I think high-schoolers and middle-schoolers can be neglected socially, in some ways. It was so nice when I went to my first Pride to see older people who were comfortable enough with themselves to also inspire some of the younger queer people.
Pride is a gathering time for the people of our community, but it’s important to engage with people in our community outside of Pride month, too. Choosing to build a support network is important. If you’re queer in the real world, it’s hard out here. And it’s nice to have people who understand some of the struggles that you might undergo in day-to-day life.
~ Store Staff Member Michael Pinnell, Completing His First-Year Journey at Mud Bay
When I think about the future of Pride, I think about the future of our society as a whole. I don’t think we can really reach our full potential until everyone of all races, gender, class, sexuality and ability are treated equally. I think Pride is an awesome platform for people of all walks of life to come together to celebrate all our differences.
After you come home from the Pride parade, I hope people think about what they can do to further the fight for justice. Pride may bring everyone together, but it’s necessary that everyone works to raise up minority voices that have been silenced over the years. I think it’s important to realize that every movement starts with one voice and that single voice has the potential to change society.
If you’re in a position of privilege, I think the biggest thing you can do is listen. Asking people what you can do to help, and then helping in the way they ask can also be really powerful. People don’t earn privilege, but they can put it to work by helping other communities.
~ Store Staff Member Sierra Cearns, Completing Her First-Year Journey at Mud Bay