Pride will once again be a very different experience for most people this year. Some physical events are returning in a big way. Some have postponed for a second year. And others are continuing to build on the success of digital celebrations where they can reach more people within our community. Whichever way we each mark Pride this year, one thing remains the same: our spirit of coming together, being proud of who we are, and uplifting those who need it most.
Having our lives disrupted by COVID-19 gave many of us some time to reflect and recognise what matters most to us and the communities we are a part of. It’s an experience many of the LGBTQ+ people in this new Summer Issue of GAY TIMES Magazine touch upon.
“I’m a human being, we are not infinite,” says Anitta in her GAY TIMES Magazine cover story. “Our lives have a time when it’s going to be over. So if we deal with situations by always counting something or running for something that’s actually infinity, we’re never going to be happy. We’ll just always feel this pressure that we need to get more, have more, and we’re never going to feel like we’ve reached our goals.” The Brazilian superstar has reconciled that achievements are what we make them. It’s not about the biggest or the best, but rather what makes us happy and gives us a true sense of who we are at our core.
Fellow cover star Dove Cameron has also spent the last year discovering who she is and taking the time to embrace it. “The community is filled with people who have done so much work to accept and love themselves,” she says. “I find the work you have to do on yourself begets your ability to support others.” This self-reflection has allowed her be more open about being a part of the LGBTQ+ community, in turn inspiring other queer youth who follow her.
Drag Race UK star A’Whora was given the opportunity of a lifetime when she was cast on the second season of the hit BBC Three show, but when the pandemic hit she and her fellow contestants were left wondering what was next for them. They managed to record the remainder of the season, but they didn’t get to immediately experience the usual post-show opportunities that this level of exposure traditionally offers. “It’s been surreal because when it was all happening we were constantly still at home,” A’Whora tells us. “We were just in lockdown so it was very anti-climatic. It was like, ‘F**k we just did the finale, and now what?’ The world wasn’t happening. But the second Boris [Johnson] on his f**king bike decided to lift those regualtions... Girl! It’s been booked and blessed mama. I’ve been living my best life.”
We are entering a time of new beginnings, a renewed outlook and a fresh focus on what really matters. This Pride season, take the time to celebrate safely with loved ones. Support and uplift each other. But also remember that while the LGBTQ+ community is built up of many different lived experiences, we are strongest when we come together and fight for everyone’s right to be who they are, and love who they want to love.