Marsha P. Johnson was a courageous Black prominent figure of the Stonewall uprising. She stood against political bullies, police brutality, and homophobia in an angry, anti-gay New York City. Despite her anti-queer environment, she was resilient to create the Gay Liberation Front and S.T.A.R. (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries), two organizations that advocated for social equality.
James Baldwin was a Black, Southern renegade in 1956, who wrote a prolific and far-reaching novel about queer love. His work gave hope to thousands of queer folks by representing our lives in his pages. Giovanni’s Room was not only a brilliant book, it was an act of resilience that inspired queer people to embrace their love, their identities, and their stories.
Just like Marsha and James, we know persecution, bigotry, and political inequality. That is certain. But, not many of us know how truly resilient we are. Thanks to the queer siblings–like Ms. Marsha and Mr. Baldwin–who have gone before us, we have incredible examples of bouncing back, adapting to our situations, fighting against the tide, and pushing through major roadblocks from which to learn.
At iAmClinic, we chose 2022 Pride’s theme to be “iAmResilient” because we are a team of queer therapists and allies who see the effects of trauma, rejection, political bigotry, policy brutality, and developmental detachment. While entering the painful spiral of emotional toil with our clients, we also see queer people access their resilience and change their lives.
Pride is surely a time when we take to the streets to celebrate our diversity and our beauty as sexual and gender minorities. This year, however, we want you to also embrace your resilience.
Whether you’ve suffered through developmental or major trauma, rejection, religious abuse, or bullying, we want you to know that you have everything it takes to heal. We want you to access the fighter within, the part of you that knows there is much more to become, much more to embrace, and much more to experience.
It is my sincere wish that as you dance in the streets and brandish rainbow paint on your cheeks, that you not only honor who you are, but what you possess; that as you celebrate your love and your body, you’re reminded of your resistance and it provokes the fighter within; that as you gather with friends and allies, that your ability to love others inspires you to bounce back and love yourself, fully; that as you watch glitter fall to the ground like ashes once did, you remember that you have everything it takes to overcome and rebuild.
May this Pride not only be a time of celebration, but also a season of resistance, adaptation, perseverance, and grit. Our hope for you during this Pride is that you make the commitment to dismantle narratives like, “I am weak” or “I am too damaged,” for one that truly articulates your power: “iAmResilient.”
Happy Pride from all of us here at iAmCouncil!