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Basslines and Protest Signs

Pride and Glory

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Here at idobi, it’s vitally important that we always maintain a balance of diversity. That people of all colors, nationalities, sexualities, genders, sexes, and religions feel welcome. In other words, we treat every month like it’s Black History, Women’s History, AAPI, and Pride.

That said, we know just how vitally important these months are. How equity is of massive importance in this country. How a spotlight is necessary to ensure that we reach our goals. So here we are. It’s June, and it’s Pride Month again. That means parades and parties, concerts and a ton of fun. It also means, due to some draconian laws being implemented in a lot of states, that we have to keep fighting against the pure evil that is the homophobes and transphobes in power.

As reported by CNN, 417 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills and counting have been introduced since the start of the year. It’s usually under the guise of “protecting the children” because homophobes and transphobes have reverted to the dark ages when people believed that gay and trans people were aligned with pedophiles. That sort of fear-mongering is vile, especially in this Internet age. The bullshit spreads so fast.

Read more: Celebrating Asian American or Pacific Islander Heritage Month

“Education and healthcare-related bills, in particular, are flooding in at unprecedented levels,” wrote CNN contributor Annette Choie in April. “Along with a renewed push to ban access to gender-affirming health care for transgender youth, there has been a heavy focus on regulating curriculum in public schools, including discussions around gender identity and sexuality.”

Of course, they have been going after the schools too.

“A total of 283 education-related bills have been introduced so far this year. That’s more than twice the number of such bills introduced last year, according to ACLU data as of April 3,” wrote Choi.

Look, it should come as no surprise that Republicans are trying to restrict the rights of LGBTQIA+ members of society. They’ve made it their business to terrorize minorities for decades now. That’s who they are, that’s what they do, and the Trump administration only made them louder and more confident. Today’s Republicans don’t see homophobia or transphobia as politically toxic ground—quite the opposite. The hate appeases their base.

So the rest of us are left with no choice but to fight. Fight for all we’re worth. Thankfully, there are a lot of musicians, most musicians, in fact, who will stand up for good.

As reported by The Advocate, pop megastar Taylor Swift paused during a Chicago concert at the start of June to say, “I’m looking out tonight, I’m seeing so many incredible individuals who are living authentically and beautifully, and this is a safe space for you… There have been so many harmful pieces of legislation that have put people in the [LGBTQIA+ community] at risk. It’s painful for everyone, every ally, every loved one, every person of these communities. And that’s why I’m always posting, ‘This is when the midterms are, this is when these important key primaries are.’”

BOOM! When you consider how popular Swift is in red states as well as blue, those words will hit like a hammer. Young people are being taught love rather than hate by their heroes. It’s a beautiful thing.

Meanwhile, just before she performs at WeHo Pride in West Hollywood, Carly Rae Jepsen told this writer, “I would pay to be here. That’s how I feel about Pride. Pride feels extra important this year. It’s important every day, it’s not just a month-long thing. Consistently, we should be fighting, and I’m definitely an ally. I feel like it’s an extra cause to get out there, show support, and be there to see the power in numbers and remember what we can do.”

Read more: Kids In The Hall

Last year, another blossoming pop star, Zolita, told this writer that, “LA Pride is actually the first Pride I ever went to, in 2012. I was a senior in high school, and I was still in the closet and went as an ally. I knew that I was queer, and the feeling of being there was so much excitement that I was going to be entering that community.”

Meanwhile, I recently spoke to non-binary indie art-pop artist Molly Kirschenbaum, about their new project Goblynne. They also have a new album, Hot 🙁, on the way.

“The project is a lot about femininity and being told I was a woman and then realizing that I’m non-binary later on in my life,” they said. “I often had this feeling growing up, especially when I’d be in ’girls’ nights’ or whatever, that I was different. But I could never describe it. And whenever I’d be asked to look really feminine and this particular sort of girly way, I often just had this feeling of, ‘I’m a creature, I’m a monster’. It was this intrusive, at the time, very negative self-talk. As I got older and was birthing this project, I had this desire to reclaim or re-explore that feeling as something empowering. Like, if I am something different, how do I lean into that completely? What can my identity be outside of gender and womanhood and leaning more into the creature sphere of things.”

That’s why Pride is so important. Again, that’s why visibility for LGBTQIA+ people all throughout the year is so important. But the recent uproar over Bud Lite and the Dylan Mulvaney ad showed us that the world still has some evolving to do. Pride shines a light where light needs shining. It’s about awareness and, ultimately, acceptance and normalization. Until we get to the point where a trans person can be in any show or on an ad for anything, and it’s no big deal, we’ll have to keep shining and keep fighting.

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