By Nico Sahi
What does Pride month mean to you and how has it changed for you over the years?
PRIDE usually means something slightly different to me every year, because as I grow as a person, my relationship with being gay also changes and grows. This year, in particular, I feel very close to the origins of PRIDE as a social protest, and a vehicle for change. It's hard to imagine how radical those first marches were, and those first declarations that an entire community no longer would be content to be the butt of a joke, or dwell in the shadows, or suffer in silence.
How has coming out shaped your life and/or your identity?
It's been the greatest blessing of my life! Coming out enabled me to tear down all of the traditional measurements of success that I had felt beholden to (grow up, get a job, get married, have kids, retire, etc.) and allowed me to build new ideas of what my life could look like instead. Coming out gave me freedom.
Is there anything you wish you could say to those who strive to be effective LGBTQ+ allies?
It's not just what you say publicly that matters, it's also what you allow other people to say without speaking up in private. Allyship also means being a voice for LGBTQ people when they aren't there to defend themselves, even when it's difficult.