What Does Pride Mean to You?

What Does Pride Mean to You?

This year, we ran a model search throughout the province of Saskatchewan to find 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals interested in being photographed for our SML Pride campaign. We received an overwhelming response from over 250 people. As a queer-owned business, our Pride designs hold a special place in our hearts, and we are grateful to everyone who took the time to be a part of it. Here are the models selected for our Pride campaign, sharing their thoughts on what Pride means to them.

Lyric (he/him)

Pride to me is being strong and authentic to myself. It’s about standing with those in my community and embracing our diversity. It’s a reminder on how we are all connected, striving for a world where love is celebrated. It’s about fighting for our visibility, rights, and respect for our community. Pride is about self-discovery, feeling free to discover who we are. Pride is a symbol of hope and love.

Rain (they/he)

Pride to me is the freedom of expression; to be creative in who you are! Pride means breaking out of the box we are all jammed into and embracing what is uniquely you!

Lex (they/them)

For me, Pride is about being your authentic self and letting your spirit shine. Though we have come far as a society when it comes to acceptance, there is still a long way to go. Many queer people, especially youth, stay in the closet out of fear because of all of the hate in our society. It is so important for queer youth to see queer people being celebrated so they know they don’t have to be afraid. Having the freedom to be yourself without fear is so important; everyone should be able to express themselves authentically. The fact that everyone is different is worth celebrating!

Keegan (she/her)

Pride, to me, means being authentically yourself. No societal expectation can hold you back from queerness. It means community, representation, and resilience. Pride is to laugh in the face of heteronormative standards and rise above the norm. The community we build around Pride reverberates queer legacy as we take up the flag that so many bore before us. Pride is honouring the legacy of black trans women at Stonewall, it is acknowledging that we are stronger as a collective and when we fight together, we win.

So much of our identity hinges on society’s view of us, but Pride allows us to be free in our queerness. Pride means respect for our queer family and protection from hostile onlookers. The future of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community is dependent on how we strive for greatness. We have always existed and will continue to do so despite the odds being stacked against us. Pride is screaming at the top of our lungs demanding to be seen in a world that wants us to be silent, and our voices will be loudest together. Queerness is inescapable.

Beatrice (she/her)

Pride is an act of resilience, defiance, joy, and any proof of queer existence. Personally, queerness is an ongoing mindset of decolonization and a humbly fluid understanding of what is expected and why it is that way. Pride allows for these understandings to shine through people in their own ways, and it's beautiful to witness. Queer joy in Pride is its own kind of beauty I'm very lucky enough to take part in.

Kestyn (he/him)

Pride means being unapologetically visible. It means being authentic in the face of those who do or have ever felt authority to silence us. It means being visible in honour of those who weren’t able to before us.

Kelly (any pronouns)

Pride is the remembrance of the storied queer history that has led us to today and the stark yet important reminder that we are in the midst of writing our own. Our community is going through a human rights crisis both internationally and at home. We are the history the queer or trans kids of tomorrow will be looking back to as beacons of hope for a better tomorrow, as fighters for what is right. If the current political climate is causing you to doubt yourself or is making you scared for the future, please know this: queer existence is valid. Trans existence is beautiful. Our existence is resistance. By being yourself, you are actively fighting and are part of the resistance against the bigotry trying to take you down. Pride is the reminder that we know who we are, we are proud of it, and no one can take that from us.

Adedoyin (she/her, he/him)

Pride, for me, is about black queer joy and unapologetic self-expression. As a black masculine-presenting lesbian, it's about boldly occupying spaces in a world that often demands conformity and struggles to embrace diversity. Pride means celebrating and embracing my true, authentic self without reservation or hesitation. It's about refusing to shrink, fold or hide in the face of societal expectations, and instead, standing tall and proud of who I am and who I love. Pride is a celebration of resilience, defiance, and the beauty of being authentically and unapologetically queer in a world that still has much to learn about acceptance and inclusion.

Abraham (he/him)

Pride is a celebration for queers of the past, today and tomorrow. Celebrating those who came before who fought for the same rights, we are still fighting for today and serving as a way to protest for those in places where they can’t live as their own authentic self. Pride was for 7-year-old me seeing that tiny sliver of queer representation on TV for the first time. Pride is ongoing. Pride is more than just a rainbow on a t-shirt. Pride is real. Queer people are real. Pride is camp. Pride is wearing those flashy shorts with that party city wig. Pride is unapologetic. Pride is fruity. Pride is for all the times I had to scramble to rid my face of makeup when I heard my parent’s car pull up in the driveway. Pride is every day. Pride is proud. Pride is all of us. Pride is gay.

Ell (they/them)

Pride is protest--it is both a celebration and a demonstration that equality never truly exists if people can vote away our human rights. Pride is loud, both in colour and volume, because we rally for justice for all marginalized communities. Pride in our identities isn't meant to be hidden away, kept a secret, or drenched in shame. Truthfully, pride demands justice and can squash shame. We make noise for the generations of elders & ancestors lost during the AIDS crisis and before. We rally to celebrate their lineage and work and to know where the roots of queer liberation come from. We will be truly liberated when all (disabled, trans, First Nation, BIPOC) marginalized people of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community are.

Our models were provided with hair and makeup by Only Child Studio; thank you for creating a safe and open environment. The Pride Made Local design is available now. Ten percent of sales will be donated to Saskatchewan Pride Network, which supports several rural and remote Pride festivals around the province. We wish everyone a joyous and fruity Pride celebration in 2024. 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️

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