Let’s talk about Pride.
In 2020, even in the midst of a deadly pandemic and a global uproar in defense of Black lives, the LGBTQ+ community still found its ways to celebrate Pride Month, as did we, with our annual Logo30 being produced entirely remotely. Even within the intersections of racism and inequality, our community honored our past, present, and future, even if more of it than anticipated was relegated to Zoom chats and YouTube streams. We stood proud and united, and we rallied in support of our own, particularly those who are Black and trans. Pride is many, many things, but last year was solemn proof that it is unstoppable.
The COVID-19 crisis is still deadly across the world. But access to vaccinations, and the scientific outlook of a “new normal” in some countries, including America, have reignited excited conversations around what Pride could look and feel like in 2021. So in what is now our fourth year, as we proudly present 30 more LGBTQ+ voices who are pushing American and global LGBTQ+ culture forward, it’s somewhat confounding to see those familiar attempts to draw parameters around what is and isn’t Pride — or perhaps, what is or isn’t Pride-“friendly” — particularly after a year in which very few of us got anything close to the Pride we used to know.
There is one thing missing that feels obvious in these discussions, but let me just say it here: Our community has never thrived by blending in. At no point in history did we ever achieve true joy by hiding in complicit decency. Being queer or trans in many countries, including this one, can be a death sentence. That’s the reality of our lives. Where and how we show our Pride is trivial compared to how we ensure our own safety and livelihood. As we look to our LGBTQ+ leaders who light a path for all of us to become the fullest version of ourselves, that requires breaking rules, shattering norms, and disrupting conventional expectations. That energy should also reflect how we express Pride in our daily lives: freely, boldly, and without shame.
Kink is Pride. Activism is Pride. Sex, regardless of what you’re into or how you consent to it, is Pride. Staying in your house and minding your own damn business is Pride. Holding hands is Pride. Celebration, no matter how loudly or softly, is Pride. Love is Pride. Entire generations of our community were taken from us before they ever got to experience everything that being your true self can bring. Who is anyone to try and limit that for those of us who are still here?
This year, within our Logo30, we’re kicking off a special honor we’re calling Logo Legend, which pays tribute to a particularly monumental person, group, or moment that had an outsized impact on the future of LGBTQ+ rights, visibility, and culture. That will be its own special reveal later this month, and we hope that you find it as empowering as we found our first honoree.
Collectively, I’d like to think that this year’s honorees, from drag superstars to politicians, advocates to actors to authors, showcase just how powerful we can be when we live our truths as fully as we possibly can. They represent how beautiful and vivid the spectrum of what being LGBTQ+ in America can look like, if only we let it.
Terron Moore, Editorial Director of Logo, NewNowNext, and MTV News