What PRIDE month means to me, a note from the Founder.

Pride Month 

I have spent the most part of this month reflecting on what pride month means to me personally. 

Here I wanted to share apart of myself with you all.

Growing up in a small country town in Australia, life wasn’t as colourful and open as it is today.

I was 15 years old when I first had a crush on a girl, the year was 2003. For me it was the most normal thing in the world, I didn’t over think it for a second. I didn’t think ‘oh am I gay, am I bisexual’ etc. I just went with it.

The girl was in a year above me and we became friends. I learned sign language to talk to her as she was deaf.

We kissed one night at a party she had on her farm, though that was as far as the short lived crush went. We became friends after that.

I had 2 boyfriends during the time of high school. In year 12 I dated a girl that was a few years older than me.

I remember being so happy but also getting a lot of judgement from others, especially the teachers around me. 

One day at school I was in the year 12 common room. I had decorated my locker with fashion pictures from vogue. One of the male teachers got angry & aggressive towards me in front of everyone in my year, telling me to take down the magazine pictures, off my locker as they were inappropriate.

The photos were from a runway model shoot that had inspired me, I recall the model was wearing bikinis or something alike, certainly not inappropriate.

I knew the context of what the teacher was implying as that week I had found out that all of the teachers had been discussing my relationship with my girlfriend during their lunch time break as it was the talk of the town at one point.

This made me feel uncomfortable. 

I felt normal within myself & my sexuality but others around me projected on to me that I was weird & different. Lucky I was blessed with a ‘i don’t give a f@@k’ attitude. Growing up I needed tough skin being ‘different’; What ever that means. ( I believe we are all different and thats the most beautiful thing about being human. Our beautiful individual differences while at the same time being one big soul family that are at the very core the same).

Thinking about my younger self, I wish that being queer was normalised. I wish I read about it in magazines. I wish I saw it on tv and in the media but it wasn’t out there. I just worked through it on my own. 

I had a mother that loved me and accepted me no matter what so when she found out I had a girlfriend it was no issue at home.

Today I am thankful that awareness is spreading as that society is awakening slowly. Even though we as humans have come so far, we still have so far to go.

I saw a post on instagram the other day that really put things into perspective for me. The words were as follows - “There’s 195 counties in the world, 168 of them don’t allow same sex marriage. Thats literally ONLY 28 countries that legalised it. In over 60 countries its still a criminal offence to be gay and in some can be punishable by death. So tell me how Pride Month isn’t important?”

For all the queers coming out and finding themselves in this crazy world, know that you are helping people be themselves but leading by example by being your truest, most authentic self.

Shine your light, be bright, you are all loved and seen. 

I’m sharing a part of myself with you to be another voice for the seed of change and acceptance in this world. 

 

Life is beautiful, life is hard, life is short so we got to live it.

Thank you for reading

Love Shanti xx

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