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Why We show up in Bold Colors

Often people grow up with a culture where being heterosexual is the norm. In this world the gay person is often bullied, or told that their being and existence is out of alignment with nature, with God, or goodness, life, or law. By displaying "our sexuality" we tell others around us, who identify as Queer, that their lives exist and are good lives, WORTHY OF LIVING FOR. We are claiming this truth even when the culture around us tells us otherwise.

We've been called names, or seen others called them. We've seen ourselves forget our rights to joy and happiness. Our rights to feel SEEN in social gatherings with family and friends. And we've seen the homelessness and suicide rates our peers face. We've experienced issues with our mental health ourselves. We've seen how much we're not supposed to exist. How we don't occupy places of power that are deciding how our lives will go.

By using of public forums to air, to "display," our sexualities, we, remind others and ourselves that we're not alone in having this sexuality. We're still a minority, but we exist, and we're able to find joy and happiness in the places we're occupying and letting ourselves be seen. And by displaying this, we hope, others will feel able to accept and love themselves the way God has always done.

The practical reason we tend to like showing it everywhere and about is because it has historically worked. Much of the movement (in my understanding from my small research) has been about showing to others that we exist, that we're real people. Which includes your brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, aunts and uncles. And in doing so opening a path for legislation that protects us, and gives solid ground and affirmation of our humanity.

It has worked for much of our recent history in getting us the rights that we deserve, as well as helping free our minds from fear, and isolation. We know it has helped us when we've seen a public queer figure, and so we pass on the baton of goodness.

Through this we've realized that if we're not seen and known, people won't care to let us have the things that seem so basic to our survival and flourishment. I believe this is similar to almost any social movement that is trying to lift the voices of the unheard.

Minorities get attention, enough attention, by making a fuss, a riot, some noise. And hopefully that's enough to change how things are.

It's like a wound or a disease in the body. Only by hurting is that our minds are directed to the problem. By crying out loud through pain, are we able to find help from our brains to then put a band-aid or assist the body in some other necessary way. Our displaying and showing out loud is merely a symptom, of a problematic way of designing life for a queer person.

You can not deny that you are designing, pre-determining their life, when you allow someone to not get hired if they are queer. When you allow boys to pick on the more effeminate one. When you allow girls to feel awkward or "unsure" about the tom boy. When you say that that's persons inner life, hopes, dreams, isn't clean or correct enough to be shared in conversation, even with the closest of family members and friends.

But I go back to my first point. Our "showing off" isn't just an attempt to point out the bad with society. It's also the celebration of what is indeed good. Our bodies cry out in pain when it's mal-nourished, diseased, cut, or broken. But it also rewards us with joy and pleasure when we feed it, comfort it, wash it and admire it. We will not only fight for a better life, we'll celebrate the good that we have as well.

But I guess my questions to the ones who often wish we would quiet down.

Why does it hurt so much to see us being happy? Being human, being full. Are we not called to rejoice with those who rejoice?

Why does it hurt to see us grow, and try to be happier than what we were before?

What are we afraid of here? What are we struggling to bring to light through these awkward Facebook comments, and comments on blogs, Instagrams and TikTok videos?

Why is it difficult to accept that someone is indeed happier when they say they are? Why is it difficult to trust a queer person when they say: "This makes me more happy, than when I pretended to not exist?"

(This post was originally posted on my Instagram stories and written in response to comments on this article from Chimes, it's been edited for publication here with minor changes)

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