LGBTQ & Ally Voices of MiQ is an interview series that’s part of our Pride celebrations. In this blog, we’ll hear from MiQ people who are in different roles, in different countries, with different experiences. They’ll tell us about their story, how they’re celebrating Pride and what it means to them. This is just one of the ways we’re supporting the LGBTQ+ community and raising awareness. It reflects how far society has come, but how far we still need to go.
Name: DJ Keon
Role: Account manager
What was your first Pride experience?
My first experience was when I was walking to my friend’s apartment in Toronto right after the parade had finished. I spent the rest of the day walking around the neighbourhood with my friends and enjoying the celebration. Being closeted at the time, this experience is my favorite Pride memory as it was the first time in my life I felt surrounded by a community of people like me.
What does LGBTQ+ Pride mean to you?
It means being the confident, self assured, happy and openly gay person that I needed to see when I was young and terrified.
What do you find inspirational about Pride month?
It’s an opportunity to learn about the stories of all the people who have made a modern Pride celebration possible. The stories of those pioneers are often lost in the hubbub. For me, Pride month is a chance to understand and recognize those who lost their livelihoods or lives to be themselves. It’s a chance to celebrate how far we’ve come, and to build momentum behind all the changes that still need to be made in society – and in the Pride movement itself.
What advice do you wish you had growing up and what would you say to a young LGBTQ+ person now?
Looking around and not seeing yourself reflected in media, politics or society can feel isolating. But it also means you have the invaluable gift of a unique story, perspective and set of experiences to share with the world. Remember to treat yourself with the kindness that your favorite person in the world treats you with.