From the Executive Director: Reflections on Pride
I stand on the shoulders and backs of those who came before. Trans people, black and brown people, who risked their lives in their unapologetic authenticity, in their flamboyancy, in their pain, in their trauma, in their complexity, in their resistance, and dare to dream bigger because we deserve better…we deserve more.
Pride is a complex nature; too much leads to arrogance, and too little leads to feelings of worthlessness. We as human beings are also complex in nature, we come with a multiplicity of identities, histories, and experiences. When I think about Pride, I think about complexity. The complexity of being a person of color and seeing only representations of queer whiteness. The complexity of being a trans person and seeing only cisgender representation and recognition within the LGBTQIA+ acronym.
The complexity of having to prove to the cis-hetero world that we are deserving of safety, equality, equity, and love; but our queer love isn’t safe when our lovers and partners are abusive. The complexity of MTPC being the oldest active trans advocacy organization in the nation but it took 18 years of literal blood, sweat, tears, and lives for Massachusetts to fully protect trans people under the law.
The complexity of the joy in being who you are and loving whom you love in the face messaging that tells you, you are not welcomed.
Pride is not only a celebration. It is also a protest—a resistance to that very message. Because who you are in all of your imperfections is more than enough, it is a gift. And love, in all forms, of self and others is a wondrous splendid thing! The concern should never be for who you love but for HOW you love.
I am deeply grateful to all those who have gone before, our ancestors, our elders, our living legends. And I honor all of those who risked their lives living, dancing, regaling, and fighting in the margins so that I may be here today to utter these words to you… Happy Pride.
In Love + Trans Power,
Tre’Andre Carmel Valentine (he/they)
Executive Director, MA Trans Political Coalition