Monday, 8 July 2019

Is Tilly Gay? Why I Took Her To Pride In London

Is Tilly gay? If not, why do you take her to Pride?

That is what I have been asked a couple of times and I was asked on Friday too when I mentioned I was taking her to Pride In London. No, she isn't, not that it would make any difference to who my child is. My child can be whoever she wants to be, without judgement and prejudice from me. When I was growing up, It was looked down on to be gay. People had the piss taken out of them for their life choices and you were shamed for being gay or different from anyone else. Sadly the world still hasn't caught up with the times and people are still rejected and shamed for their life choices. I don't want my daughter to grow up in a world full of hate and discrimination. A world of fear for declaring your love for another individual regardless of their sex. I don't want her to grow up in a world of fear, where people are stoned to death or imprisoned for being who they want to be. A world where people are still rejected by their own family for loving who they want to or being who they want to.

When we went to Canterbury Pride a few weeks ago she saw a lady standing there with a sign saying ''Mum Hugs''. She asked me why she was doing it and I explained that sometimes families don't understand when their child/brother/sister comes out as LGBTQ. That their families walk away from them and leave them feeling alone. The hugs are to make someone feel loved and wanted again. She smiled and gave the lady a hug. We were on our way to Pride in London and she wanted to make her own sign offering little sister hugs. Normally, I would never let her go into a street and just hug random people but This somehow seemed different. So she set about making her sign and I shoved it in my bag, thinking she would forget about it. She didn't! She took it out in Trafalgar Square and she stood there for a few tense moments (they were tense for me because I didn't want her to feel rejected if nobody hugged her). But eventually, people came up to her and hugged her, smiled at her and high fived her. they took photo's of her and selfies with her. I am so proud to call this child my daughter!

She gave away so many hugs on Saturday and each hug was given with a bit of her love and compassion. She told me she didn't ever want anyone to feel alone for the choices they make. My heart actually melted. So no, my daughter has never shown me any indications that she is gay but she has shown me that she has the biggest heart and the most love for others. If she tells me she is gay, She will still be my daughter and I will support her the whole way. If she supports one person from the LGBTQ community, then I know I have bought her up properly.

As for Pride in London this year, it was huge. I believe 1.5 million people were there celebrating on the streets of London. It was 50 years since the Stonewall uprising and that really was something to celebrate. So Pride in London celebrated it's own jubilee this year. The Stonewall uprising began in a small gay pub in the USA, where diverse people could go and drink without fear of being 'outed' to their families or beaten up or arrested for being gay. On 28th June 1969, the police raided the bar for the last time because the patrons fought back and it led to movements being set up to get the same rights as other people. Since then the rights of the LGBTQ community have been fought for and often won, but there are still 71 countries worldwide where it is illegal to be gay. This needs to change. Even in UK, people still get attacked for their sexual beliefs and even recently a couple was attacked by a group of 14 and 15-year-old youths on a London bus. This is not what I want my daughter to see!

Tilly celebrated in London alongside those 1.5 million people and I will continue to support her wanting to be there for the LGBTQ community. I love this kid so much and the fact she wanted to share her support with others, just made me realise how she is going to help change the world a bit at a time.

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