Pride weekend reflections and 1,000 hits

Writing about the first week on here was always a daunting prospect. For a while I didn’t really think I’d get here at all, because finally setting my mind to making this happen took so much effort that I wasn’t sure I’d keep it up. Until last Thursday, I worked my day job 18 days straight, and at the same time set myself the challenge to finally get this site off the ground, and make it live on 01 July. And to my surprise more than anyone else’s, it actually happened.

So to have had over 1,000 hits in the first 5 days of being online is something I never expected, and still can’t quite believe. I think this is possibly one of the most daunting things I’ve done – to put yourself out there and risk something completely tanking after hyping it up so much is terrifying. But the response has been so positive, and I’ve had so many sweet messages, that I honestly can’t thank everyone who’s liked, shared and subscribed enough – it means so much!

Writing this on the weekend of Pride in London, a week after the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, made me stop and think about how lucky I feel to live in the world we live in today, and how precious that luxury is. I think for LGBTQ people born in the ’90s and later, it can be difficult to truly understand the struggles others before us faced as a result of their orientation. I mean, we know things were different to how they are today, but sometimes I feel like we’ll never truly know the fear and pressure of living a closeted life. There’s definitely something abstract about it that means it’s easy to lose sight of the journey as a whole.

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That’s why, although I didn’t go down to London Pride this year, it’s so important that we keep celebrating Pride and honouring those who championed the same causes when hostility was at its peak. To take a day or a minute or a second to truly appreciate being able to live freely, openly and relatively without fear – which, even today, people across the world don’t have – is the least we can all do. And that’s something I want to push for on here, and help people realise that, just because LGBTQ people people aren’t persecuted in the same way they were 40 years ago, it doesn’t mean we’ve reached an end.

Even this year, I’ve seen so much negativity surrounding Pride celebrations. So many comments asking why products have Pride-themed branding, why it’s being “shoved in our faces”, and what more LGBTQ people want. That’s the kind of internalised homophobia we need to put an end to, and why I applaud brands for taking the time to redesign products, alter shelving arrangements and create advertising that champions groups of people that lived in fear for so long. Because let’s remember, homosexuality was only decriminalised in the UK 1967 – and 1981 in Scotland. That’s only 52 years and 38 years, respectively.

That’s why I’ve changed the Carry On… Connor logo for the next coupe of weeks, and will do for every Pride season going forward. Seeing the city spring to life over the past couple of months and show it’s support has been so reassuring – especially in the current political climate – so to play even a small part in that is so special. And I think I speak on behalf of all LGBTQ people when I say, we appreciate any effort to promote tolerance, inclusivity and, most of all, love.

I never like to write anything that sounds too “preachy”, but sometimes I think its important to step back and really take a second to look at a situation – and hopefully, in a world of uncertainty, it will actually make you feel somewhat better. Anyway, Im signing off before I go off on another tangent, but there’s some fun stuff coming up this week, so remember to like and subscribe, and I’ll see you then…

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