My reflections on Pride month

Daz rocking her HUMAN Pride T-shirt

Written by Daz Burns

I felt like anyone who knows me, knows I only wish people joy and love and support them, no matter what.
But, in that moment, I felt like the wind was knocked out of me.


“The only gays in the village.”

That is how two of my beautiful friends dressed up to come to a party at my house recently (for the record, the theme of the party was Village People – or people from my village).
One of these beautiful wahine has been in my village since the day I was born.
The other, her beautiful and hilarious wife, joined my village around ten years ago (ish).
I had the privilege of sharing a reading at their wedding almost six years ago (and of course, it was the lyrical poetry of Sir Elton John).


The most heartfelt gift

For my birthday, they gave me the most beautiful gift of a ‘HUMAN’ t-shirt, which has all the pride flags included in each of the letters.
But, as I pulled it out of the bag, they said, I didn’t have to wear it if I didn’t feel comfortable, as they hadn’t seen me wear rainbow/pride clothing before.
And my heart sank.
Even writing this, my eyes have tears in them.
There is a great quote on the Pride New Zealand website that says “an ally is for life, not just for pride.
Though I have loved these ladies like sisters for so long, I haven’t thought about how to make that love loud to the world in my everyday life.
Not because I am embarrassed or worried.
But, because I thought it was implied.
I felt like anyone who knows me, knows I only wish people joy and love and support them, no matter what.
But, in that moment, I felt like the wind was knocked out of me.


Ordinary privilege

I heard a term a while ago called ordinary privilege (you can read a bit more about it here).
And at that moment, the light switched on.
Things that I don’t even give a second thought to.
Being straight.
Being white.
Being me.
All the things that I take for granted as my normal, that are ‘me’.
They are my ordinary privilege.


Widen your perspective

As Sonya Renee Taylor says “humans unfortunately make being human exceptionally hard for each other.
Well, not me.
Not any more.
Now, I am committed to giving them as much of my support as possible.
By asking questions to learn about what challenges they encounter.
By advocating and speaking up.
By challenging negative rhetoric.
By reading books from LGBTQI+ people like Sonya Renee Taylor and sharing them with others.
By inviting more voices and perspectives into conversations.
By using our platform of The Good Day Matrix, to share more LGBTQI+ stories.
By wearing my HUMAN t-shirt.

I genuinely encourage you to widen your perspective.
To look at your own ordinary privilege.
To think about what you can do to be a better ally, every day.
To think about the words that come out of your mouth.
It matters.
It matters more than we will ever understand.
“We exist in relationship to all, are affected by all and affect all.” (Garbor Maté).

Ps. I wear my HUMAN t-shirt with pride and joy as much as I can, in all areas of my life, from school drop offs, to shopping, to mahi, to whānau time – it’s not much, but it’s a start.

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