The Importance of Pride This Year
This Pride marks a number of anniversaries for me and others in my community. I first modeled for JUNE around this time last year, when the company was just getting started.
Being a visibly transgender model in a menstrual ad was something fairly unheard of, and JUNE took on both the accolades and backlash that followed. Allyship and alignment with the LGBT+ community is not about convenience or benefits; it’s about standing with us even at risk of consequence.
This season also marks the one-year anniversary of Pride in the pandemic.
Instead of celebrating at parades, bars and fairgrounds, much of Pride has gone digital. For many, something feels lost. But for others, so much more has been gained. Many people were unable to access Pride before the pandemic: from the closeted, to those in dangerous or remote areas, to the disabled members of our community who struggle to navigate crowded and inaccessible celebrations.
As we find more widely accessible ways to celebrate online, it’s important to regard these as a continuing facet of Pride, as well as the beautiful in-person events we will someday attend again.
While this Pride season carries anniversaries and progress worth celebrating, it also comes hand in hand with a very dangerous time for our community, particularly with the rise in anti-trans legislation across the United States. That fact makes Pride all the more important: for those of us in the community and for the allies standing with us.
On the one year anniversary of my working relationship with JUNE, I co-directed a Pride shoot featuring majority trans and non-white models. I’m honored to have my voice as a trans member of the JUNE community held up by the brand and given their platform, and I am so glad to be able to spread the joy and beauty of our community digitally.
n these hard and isolating times, I hope that you can look at these wonderful smiling faces and feel togetherness with us. Wherever you are, you are not alone. We are here with you, just across this screen.
Wishing you a safe and happy Pride,
Skylar Swift Kardon