PRIDE and Profitability

Now that quarantine in my state is slowly starting to lift, I was excited to visit my local Target last week that I hadn’t been to in months (and by “local” I mean an hour away, because in Idaho that’s considered local).  After walking up and down a few aisles, I realized that there was absolutely no Pride display or any Pride merchandise being sold. 

When I lived in New Jersey, every year, a huge Pride display greeted customers as soon as they walked in the door.  This led me down a rabbit hole of thoughts surrounding Pride merchandise and the economics behind it. Some thoughts that came to mind -

  1. How genuine are brands in supporting the LGBTQ+ community if they aren’t selling Pride merchandise in all of their stores?
  2. How do brands decide which stores to sell their merchandise in?
  3. Do brands actually support the community or are they just trying to capitalize on us during Pride month?
  4. By choosing not to sell Pride merchandise in certain...
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PRIDE From My Perspective: Gopika Kalarikkal

This week, here at the Pride and Joy Foundation, we are exploring the theme of "PRIDE: What does it mean to you?"  In this essay our intern Gopika offers her take as an Indian woman...

 

Pride month 2020 has been flagged off and it’s time to celebrate the equality, visibility, and dignity of LGBTQ people all over the world.

Wait!!!

I think I got it wrong by using the phrase ‘All over the world’.  While Pride parades are in full swing and people celebrate the existence and acceptance of their identity in countries like the U.S, France, Canada, Belgium, etc, there is a harsh truth on the other side that there are numerous countries which still criminalize homosexuality and deny LGBTQ identity. There are people who still march on streets amidst violence from authority just like the Stonewall riot. For them, nothing has changed yet. 

As an Indian girl, I grew up hearing the term “Unnatural relationships” as whispers and...

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PRIDE: More Than Parades and Body Paint

This week, here at the Pride and Joy Foundation, we are exploring the theme of "PRIDE: What does it mean to you?"  In this essay our intern Gabby offers her take...

It’s June, and that means PRIDE month is officially underway! For many members of the LGBTQ+ community, this is often a chance to celebrate PRIDE by attending various celebrations that often include navigating through crowds and crowds of allies and other members of the community who have come together to honor queerness in all its forms.  There is so much power in having that visual representation in front of us, assuring us that no matter what we may have experienced, we are certainly not alone.  This year, however, with the world in the middle of a pandemic, PRIDE might look a little bit different.

Just because we may not be able to be together as a community to physically celebrate this year, that definitely doesn’t mean that PRIDE should be forgotten.  In fact, I think this is giving...

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Coming out to my 72 year old Dad

When I was 38 I had to come out to my Dad.  He was 72.  I had been married to a man for 18 years, I had four of his six grandchildren.  I can't imagine the bombshell that was for him.  

My Dad was born in New England and he spent his entire childhood there, son of an accountant and the local Masonic lodge leader.  After high school, he joined the Coast Guard.  After that he was an ironworker, building almost every bridge on the seacoast.  

There's an infamous story, happened way before I was born.  He and his crew were working in the 70s on a skyscraper in Hartford, CT.  On their lunch break, they unwittingly wandered into a gay bar.  You can imagine how that went down.  The cops were eventually called to break up the fight and Dad was thrown in jail.  My mom left him there for the night.  (I LOVE THIS STORY, my dad was in JAIL, you guys.)

In an effort to save their marriage which was on the rocks from the...

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Love and Let Love, Dating in the LGBTQ World

 

As a straight person, I have always been curious to know about homosexual relationships, how they meet, how they hook up, how they know whether the other person is straight or not, and a lot of ‘HOWs’ to be honest. It doesn’t mean peeping into others’ private life, but just curious to know how someone could get attracted to a person of same-sex and have a crush on him/her without being sure of their sexuality. How can they approach the other person being unsure where to stand, in the border of friendship and romance? 

While all these questions excited me, I started thinking of it in a more focused way. I realized that these are not only the concerns of LGBTQ people but everyone out there including myself. How can I crush on a man without knowing his sexuality?

Love is in its most beautiful and purest form when an individual finds their soulmate in another individual regardless of their gender. 

So, let’s accept the fact that LGBTQ...

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Dating and Relationships in Quarantine for LGBTQ+

Picture this: You grab your drink from the bar (or coffee place or soda shop counter).  You turn around and do a visual sweep to find the rest of your group.  Instead of finding your friends, you lock eyes with a stunning stranger.  You start chatting and laughing and boom!  That moment turns into the rest of your lives together.  I know so many people dream of a whirlwind romance like this one.   Let’s be real, though. These situations are rare enough as it is, and even more rare for members of the LGBTQ+ community.  How do we know for sure if those stunning strangers are actually into us or just eyeing our cute outfits?  

 

Thus, the world of online dating began, and since more and more people are meeting on the Internet or apps anyway, why not continue to use technology to our benefit during quarantine?  Enter distance dating!   I am married, so this option is off the table for me, but I have to admit, as someone...

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Being LGBTQ+ in Quarantine

As a middle school teacher in New Jersey, I was fortunate enough to work in the most diverse city in the nation and had little worry about my students finding out about my sexuality.  When I got married a few months into the school year, my 7th graders quickly found out it was to a woman.  As a middle school teacher, fostering relationships with each of my students was a crucial aspect of classroom management.  The more I was able to connect with them beyond the curriculum, the more likely I was to be able to focus on my curriculum during class hours.  So much of this connection, I quickly realized, was based on the intrinsic knowledge that my classroom was a safe space.  I had no idea how many students would crave the safe space that my classroom offered, or how many students I would encounter who were questioning, coming to terms with, or struggling with their sexuality.  I am honored to have been able to offer my students a judgment-free zone in...

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How I Made Her Fall in Love with Me

Q: How does a woman who doesn't realize she's a lesbian, woo another woman who doesn't realize she's attracted to women either? Or how does a presumably straight woman entice another presumably straight woman?

A:  Just like any woo-ing, it's all about the humor.  We all know that laughter is the predecessor to love, regardless of gender and sexuality.

Early in our relationship, before the fateful first kiss, all I knew is that I wanted her to look at me, talk to me, laugh at my jokes.  Her laughter, you guys!  It was like the best buzz on earth, making her smile and laugh at me.  

It was a few weeks in that I finally realized how big basketball is/was in her life.  She had played all through childhood.  By high school, she was on traveling club teams in addition to her school team.  She received multiple college offers and it paid her way through her bachelor's degree.  

But I was in trouble with this realization.  I...

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