Tanya Compas, Otamere Guobadia and Electra Pain (L-R) taking part in the TikTok Pride campaign.
Pride Month has drawn to a close for another year, and street parties are still out of the question, but that shouldn’t stop us from coming out together to celebrate our queerness.
June 2020 was a Pride Month unlike any other. The usual parades of rainbow flags, glitter and sequins were nixed by the coronavirus pandemic, forcing communities to find alternate ways to connect.
There were virtual Prides, video conference brunches, and — most importantly — masked and socially-distanced protests, with the queer community rallying around their Black members to proclaim that Black Lives Matter.
Now that Pride Month has drawn to a close, it’s vital that we continue to find ways to share our beautiful queerness, to honour all that we’ve achieved, and to continue to fight for what we believe in.
‘I’m Coming Out.’
Otamere Guobadia, a multidisciplinary writer, is one of the many who are doing just that.
He’s one of countless LGBT+ folks taking part in TikTok Pride. The short-form video app, home to a diverse range of queer content creators, is encouraging the community to come out and stand together virtually, even if we can’t physically.
Inspired by the legendary Ms Diana Ross, they’re asking users to say the immortal words – “I’m coming out” – and complete it with a unique truth, or a fun Pride outfit transformation.
Whether you’re coming out to celebrate love, to revel in trans power or to marvel at Black queer joy, TikTok want to amplify and uplift the community.
Guobadia’s take on the challenge comes in the form of a soul-stirring poem, delivered with the help of a few queer icons: activist and youth worker Tanya Compas, actor and creator Steven McKell, Yaya and Lloyd of Hand Luggage Only, choreographer Tarek Khwiss and drag queen Electra Pain.
For Guobadia, he’s coming out “for the queer and now”, his words a rallying cry for queer folk to unite in “rage, riot and choir” to build a future that we can all be proud of.
“We matter, and we will be seen and heard in song, in dance, in protest, in love,” he writes.
With the rights of queer people under attack around the world, and communities forced apart by the ongoing pandemic, it’s never been more important for us to find new ways to come together, to share in our joy and to remember the true meaning of Pride all year round.