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Lust Stories: 5 People Around the World Celebrating Pride

Lust Stories: 5 People Around the World Celebrating Pride

Erika Lust | June 23, 2020 | 11 min. read

To celebrate Pride 2020 I reached out to some people on my Instagram to find out what pride means to them.

I have been really inspired to hear from people around the globe, living in completely different countries and environments, coming together to celebrate the beauty of the LGBTQ+ community in all of it’s diverse forms.

Thank you to all of the amazing people that got involved in this. Your answers are insightful and I know that they will be helpful to a lot of people who are, or want to be, celebrating Pride this year.

Some answers have been condensed and edited for clarity.

Alex Vasquez
Alex is a gay activist for both the LGBTQ+ community and people with disabilities living in San Jose, Costa Rica.

How would you define the term pride?

Pride is the ultimate way for us all to feel a sense of belonging to our LGBTQ+ community. We’ve been historically discriminated and attacked and pride is our way to take that first fight for equality, that first riot in 1969, and not only celebrate our achievements and increasing rights, but also commemorate all those people, friends, activists, neighbours who fought their whole lives to have us live more equally today.

Pride is also a movement to keep welcoming more and more diversity; we tend to think everyone has already been embraced by our warm community, but the reality is that we still have a long way to go to keep including diverse groups, like for example, people with disabilities who are sexually or gender diverse.

How do you feel about Pride being virtual this year?

Having a virtual Pride this year is way more significant for me than you can think. Having a disability and being part of the LGBTQ+ community has always helped me recognize the inaccessibility of spaces where we can explore our sexual and gender identity. For example, diversity bars often do not comply with accessibility measures in the infrastructure; our rights to have access to sexual information is usually ignored; and as a population, people with disabilities are frequently thought of as non-sexual beings who won’t grow up.

And Pride, at least in my country, has not been the exception to this inaccessibility. Marching along the streets in Costa Rica can be somewhat of a difficult experience, and even if I have been able to attend Pride in recent years, I know the experiences of other wheelchair users like me and other people with disabilities has not been the best to the point of deciding not to attend. Therefore, a virtual pride gives more people the opportunity to attend and express themselves through technology, and it also gives us the chance to interact with our communities overseas.

What’s your hope for the future?

My country, Costa Rica, legalized marriage equality just weeks ago, and I couldn’t be happier for us. However, people think that this is the end of our journey to pursue our rights, and they couldn’t be more wrong. Our journey just started, and we ought to start educating ourselves and our communities to understand what the next steps are: intersectionality. We are leaving many groups of diversity behind – people with disabilities, trans people, immigrant groups, and so many more, when all of them should be welcomed in our communities. We should realize that we need to start fighting for everyone’s rights, for a really equal world. My hope for the future is seeing Pride as a way for everyone to express their identity and feel welcomed in love and support.

Alex has an online blog The Wheels Blog – check out his videos on Youtube and follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

Tam Young, USA
Tam is a lesbian living in Brooklyn, NY.

Can you recall a moment when you felt completely at peace with your identity?

July 5th 2019, when I got 1 year of sobriety. For a whole year I started a journey of rediscovery and recovery. I went within and faced all the things I buried deep down inside me. All the things I was taught about myself that were “bad.” I had to re wire my thinking.

Doing this self work, connected to a new way of life by being sober minded, I found a new freedom and a new happiness. I began to love me for me. ALL of me. Radical acceptance is the answer to all my problems. Through this work and the people who supported me and loved me until I loved myself, I finally found peace with my identity.

What’s your hope for the future?

My hope for the future is that we all find that pocket of humility. Humility that right sizes us all. No one is less than or greater than. A future where we can have patience, tolerance, and compassion for one another and have pride celebrating people for their differences because those differences is what make the whole human race beautiful.

Follow Tam on Instagram and check out her website.

Antonio, Mexico
Antonio lives in Querétaro city, Mexico, identifies as homosexual and queer in the LGBTQ+ community, and also performs drag.

When you hear the word pride, what feelings does it call up for you?

I will speak in two contexts, as an individual and according to the situation in my country. Pride calls to me: respect, self-love, acceptance, admiration, empathy, and in my group of friends we see it as union and work of many generations behind us and we celebrate it with full joy.

In my country, it saddens me that some people see it as trying to be the best and stepping on everyones neck to reach the applause of the people… Plus a lot of people hear “Pride Parade” and see it as a carnival thing. I mean, clearly” Pride” celebrates the diversity and advances our community has achieved through the years, but I think Pride this year and in the future in my country should focus on being a reminder to our community that this is not a party, we have what we have thanks to the sacrifices of many people that had been silenced through disappearances and in most cases killed… So many voices silenced and hurt in the past until now.

Although feelings like fear, impotence and rage prevail, this whole community has to speak out for all of our fallen brothers and sisters, step out to the streets as individuals or community and remind our country and the world – We are here! And we will NEVER be silenced again! We will no longer ask for respect, We DEMAND it!

Can you recall a moment when you felt completely at peace with your identity?

The most important moment that I could finally feel free and fully-empowered in myself was when I decided to do drag. Even though I accepted myself as homosexual, I had many thoughts and taboos, many issues crossed my mind during those moments when I was trying to accept my femininity, especially in a country like Mexico where you can be easily be killed just by identifying yourself as part of the LGBTQ+ community.

I was invited to a drag party, God, I was so afraid to leave my house with make up on and wearing heels and a dress, but I had finished my complete look and by then so there was no turning back.

I walked down the stairs and prepared to leave, and my parents saw me in full drag, I was so embarrassed, but in a few seconds my mom reached to me and said “go against the wall in the spotlight, cause we’ll take some pictures of you, you look amazing!”. In that moment I felt something strange but wonderful, I felt free… I felt love… I felt I could finally be me and do the things I always wanted.

Is there anything else you want to say?

“Always be true to yourself and what you believe in, those are the only things people can’t take away from you”

Follow Antonio on Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!

Astraia Espirit, USA
Astraia lives in Los Angeles, identifies as Bisexual and Polyamorous, and has both a loving partner and girlfriend.

What advice to you have for people who struggle to feel pride in their identity?

It took me a long time to figure out my identity, I felt lost and confused and afraid for a long time. For me, feeling pride in who I am started with discovering who I even was, and my journey to becoming proud of my queer identity, came hand in hand with my journey to discovering my autistic identity. It took a lot of time, and learning to appreciate that I am different, that I love differently. I decided that part of why I am capable, and insightful, and dedicated, and loving, is because of who I am, and not in spite of it.

Over time, it became clear to me that hatred and evil people will always exist in the world, and that pride isn’t about them, it’s about us. I feel the most pride in who I am when I am surrounded by others like me, and others who don’t judge me for who I love, or how I think. Learning to appreciate the uniqueness which we bring to the world and sharing that joy with others was the key, and its fucking fun too.

How do you feel about Pride being virtual this year?

Going virtual is a really important step, and gives Pride celebrations a chance to rethink what it means to come together and express pride in who we are. Having accessible options like virtual parties for celebrating pride is really important for Neurodiverse and Disabled people, who are not always able to attend in-person pride events. Lack of accessibility, large crowds, and highly stimulating environments have made most pride events inaccessible for me as an autistic and disabled person, and I’m not alone. But I want to hear the speeches, I want to see the amazing outfits and incredible makeup, I want to dance to music and celebrate my identity along with everyone else.

What’s your hope for the future?

My hope for the future would be joy. Pure and endless and unthreatened joy. There is so much fear still, even within the community itself. I hope one day that all queer people, of every ability, of every identity, can celebrate joyfully together.

Follow Astraia on Instagram here and support on Patreon here!

A. Morujo, Spain
A. Morujo lives in Barcelona and identifies as bisexual and trans.

Can you recall a moment when you felt completely at peace with your identity?

I don’t think I’ve ever felt completely at peace. I feel it when I’m around people I trust but when I get out of my comfort zone, the uncertainty is constant. You never know if people around you are gonna accept you or love you for who you are. Coming out can be a hurdle for a lot of aspects in your life. And the news is not reassuring either. So fear is always present in some way. That’s why places like Pride are so necessary and refreshing, because you can safely be yourself, and be celebrated.

How would you describe Pride events for anyone who hasn’t been?

For me, Barcelona Pride is a place where there are no worries. Even though it’s festive, it’s a very civil and respectful event. It doesn’t matter the flag you wear, how you look, who you are, nobody is going to look down on you. Pride is so comfortable for me because, no matter what, I know for a fact that everyone around me is going to be there for me. Because that’s what Pride means: caring about each other.

What advice to you have for people who struggle to feel pride in their identity?

Firstly, I would say: I promise you that there are people out there who love you and accept you just as you are. I would also tell them to be most importantly safe, but also patient and hopeful. The fact that Pride exists means that there’s still a lot of work to do, and we should always be careful. But the truth is that we have progressed a lot and we keep on progressing (each time faster) because of all the brave people in our community willing to make their voices heard to ensure us the respect that we deserve. Every day more people see us for who we are and are on our side, it does get better. So hang in there, surround yourself with people who love you and take care of yourself!

Follow A. Morujo on Twitter!

Erika Lust is an award-winning filmmaker, producer, and writer who's focus on female pleasure, cinematic values, and ethics in adult cinema have helped to change how pornography is consumed. Erika Lust Films was born in 2004 and since then Erika has ... Read More
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