In today’s political climate this is more important than ever
BY KRYSTA MCKENZIE, IMAGE BY DREAMSTIME
Janelle Monáe is one musican and celebrity that has never been one to shy away from political conversations. In their career so far, they have used their platform to advocate for Black liberation and LGBTQIA liberation. They are committed to staying true to their beliefs, embracing their identities, and encouraging others to do the same.
This year, there has been an onslaught of anti-LGBTQIA bills advancing in the US – from states banning gender-affirming healthcare, to banning drag artists from performing in public. The false narrative of queer and trans identity being a danger to children is constantly being pushed, and as a result, support for LGBTQIA communities is waning.
In a recent interview on a Washington radio show, Janelle shared their determination to stand with trans people, “As a non-binary, queer, pansexual person, I am proud to be in this community… I will never sit back and be silent about the injustices that are happening against our trans community.”
Janelle also pointed out that these discriminatory bills being passed is not limited to queer people – this is not a single issue struggle, “When you think about what’s happening in schools – we can’t talk about the LGBTQI+ communities – we also, in some of these same schools, they are restricting us to talk about books and speak about Black history. They’re trying to erase our history, which is American history. If we’re erasing history, how are we supposed to correct the mistakes that the past has made and create a better future?”
For Black communities and LGBTQIA communities, these changes in legislation are terrifying to face. But it is essential to continue fighting – even if fighting for you simply means embracing yourself. As Janelle said, “To peacefully deal with those sorts of obstacles and find joy, steal joy – it takes daily practice.”
Here at DIVA, we hope that this Pride month you’re able to find little pockets of joy where you can, and remind yourselves that as LGBTQIA people we are deserving of love and life although our oppressors would have us think otherwise.
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