I do a lot of podcast interviews and there’s usually a queer question. That’s what I call it when they ask one of those questions you only ask queer people. I guess that’s what happens when you live out loud – some people pretend you’re the expert on everything: terms, history, Pride month, and queer agendas.
I’m partially being sarcastic, but I don’t think any queer person would think it was strange that I get asked queer questions all the time. I’m sure they do, too. While we are experts and fantastic in so many other aspects of our lives, living out loud means that people (especially during June) ask us curious questions. Questions that often make us feel something while they toss it out so casually because it wasn’t their trauma – it’s not their life.
That’s how I felt during an interview where someone asked me why we have to have Pride month still. I don’t think they meant it as a negative, but imagining a world without Pride gave me such pause.
We Celebrate Pride Month Because There Is Still Imbalance.
People don’t know the history. They don’t know why. They don’t realize all the little and big ways we spent our lives so unequal. How we live our lives today.
When I think about Pride, I think about people who lived their lives in secret and even out loud that were often denied the dignities of so many other people and many other couples. Many of these people decided to flock to areas where they could feel anonymous, but among people just like them. They went to hubs like New York and San Francisco in search of a sister, a brother, a mother – someone to love. Someone to love them like the people who often abandoned them.
They huddled into bars in secret, sharing cautious glances and wondering if they were reading the signs. A misread signal could mean death. And over time, they fell in love just like their peers and siblings, but the law said it wasn’t equal. No wedding, no benefits.
It didn’t matter so much day to day.
Just when we were caught and beaten in bars.
Just when we went to the doctor.
Just when we needed beneficiaries.
Just when we died and left behind family who couldn’t fight on our behalf.
The small cuts added up. The beatings accumulated. These people were proud of what they survived and proud enough to fight back. To say out loud, “this system will be shattered by its imbalance.”
We still celebrate Pride month because the imbalance is there. In the wondering if you’re safe on this block. In watching the laws legislate two sides to equal rights when equal means inequitable access to life-affirming, transformative healthcare. In the way I feel afraid stepping into the bathroom of the gender I was born because I scare them. They don’t want to pee with me in the stall next-door.
That’s why we’re still celebrating Pride.
Katrina (Kat) Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive, unbiased job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.