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  • Writer's pictureMeghan O'Malley

How Many Colors are in YOUR Rainbow?

Now that the world is opening up again, I’m absolutely jumping for joy about having the opportunity to connect with some of my very favorite humans - in real life! hallelujah!! I recently got to reconnect with one of my most near and dear soul friends. She’s one of those friends who is discerning about who she keeps near, but if you’re lucky enough to be chosen by her, she has your back like no other! I remember she would call me out of the blue as I was navigating my divorce in 2015 just to check on me (and she often caught me sitting in my bed, in my “divorce sweatpants”, on the verge of tears. . . she just knew! You know those friends who just feel you and reach out at the PERFECT time? Yeah, she’s magical like that) Anyway, she loved me through my divorce and second marriage and I loved her through both her first marriage, her divorce, and her second marriage (from afar - thanks Covid! Ugh.)

Last week I went to her house and spent time around the dining room table with my dear friend and her brilliantly aligned new wife and we got lost in conversation about ALL of the things. . . paradigm shifts, family, her wedding photos, bouje furniture (we both share high end taste), divorced co-parenting, and being back out in the world after this bizarro year we’ve all had.

As we were talking about going back into the world we somehow landed on using public restrooms. As a cisgendered, very feminine-presenting woman, I don’t think too much about it other than hoping that they aren't nasty, but my dear friend, who presents on the more masculine side of the spectrum, started talking about the different things she has to consider when using a public restroom. She said, “If I'm wearing one, I always take my hat off, I make sure not to make eye contact and I just try to get out of there as quickly as possible.” And as she was talking about this, her fiercely loving wife chimed in and said, “yeah, when we go out together I wait outside of the bathroom to make sure everything is ok.”

Y’all! Can you even wrap your brain around how fucked up that is?! We have come so far in some ways and have SO far to go in others in loving and supporting our LGBTQ community.

It’s pride month, and I have carried the belief for quite a while that those in our communities who are brave enough to honor the truth of not fitting into the rigid and limiting boxes that society sets out for us have a magical superpower to help elevate humanity. They are breaking oppressive molds daily so that we can collectively create more empowering and inclusive beliefs, understanding, and expectations for future generations.

Those who are daring to live on the authentic human continuum instead of in conditioned and hella limiting polarity give US ALL more permission to stay curious about who we really are versus who we’ve been taught to be. What a freakin’ gift, right?!

Those who have to think about their safety when they walk into a freakin’ public bathroom (insert my fierce love lioness roar here - grrrrrr!), embody daily a vision for a society where masculine and feminine energetics get to dance more freely within us ALL, because hellooooooo, THAT is a big part of the path to authentic wholeness.

So, as we navigate this year’s pride month, I invite you to ask yourself a few things. . .

How can you educate yourself about the experience of those who may be having a different experience than you do on a daily basis? Literally ANY group or flavor of human that you see as different will do. Stretch yourself beyond your known world. Get curious, get compassionate, have some real conversations and do some reading because deeper, heart-centered understanding is the fuel for authentically embodied activism.

Regardless of your sexual or gender identity, how are YOU dancing with stereotypes and “shoulds” around gender or masculine-feminine energetics? And how can you break your own molds on that limiting shit?! When we give ourselves permission to live on our own unique spectrum of authentic expression, we naturally embody a more liberatory paradigm for others.

If you aren’t part of the LGBTQ community, how much connection do you have to folks who identify as queer, trans, or non-binary? If you realize you don’t have much of that rainbow magic in your world, I invite you to start by doing some marathon watching of Schitt’s Creek on Netflix, and get to googling to learn more. There are tons of resources out there and taking the time to explore, learn and find the path of advocacy & growth that feels most aligned for you IS an act of love.

Have you included your pronouns in your Zoom profile yet? It's such a tiny thing, that literally takes seconds and says SO MUCH! Without saying a word, those little pronouns by your name say, I'm opening the conversation about pronouns and giving you space to inform me of yours. It says, I'm not going to make assumptions about how YOU identify by how I perceive you. It says, I will honor and love you by using the pronouns you come with into this space. It says, YOU are welcome to be YOU (which is often the opposite of what our LGBTQ friends have experienced). It also shows colleagues and new connections that if they want to connect with you, that you have values around diversity, equity and inclusion. Truly, its a small thing that shows big love.

I invite you to play with those inquiries, stretch your comfort zone (whatever that is), and dare to learn in the direction in which you feel least aware. Every form of activism doesn't need to look like marching in the streets with signs or having heated debates with family or on social media. Sometimes activism is a necessarily quiet, humbling and eye opening inner world adventure.

Hopefully we're moving away from the "I don't see color" bypass-y bullshit and moving toward the "I wanna know, love and honor ALL of the people and unique expressions of humanity, and I'm willing to be humbled by not knowing what I don't know yet" lens. It's no mistake that the LGBTQ community has used the rainbow as their symbol. They are a community that actively invites us to live more on the full color spectrum instead of continuing life in black and white.

When we reclaim and live our own uniquely expressed rainbow of humanity, we radiate that holistic acceptance and celebration of uniqueness to everyone we touch. . . and THAT is living love, folks.

Happy pride, y'all!

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