In case you’re not aware, June is Pride Month, a reflection on and celebration of LGBTQ+ history, culture, and lives. I have had an incredibly fortunate life as far as being a gay man born and raised in the United States. While I never felt comfortable with my sexuality until I was in college, once I finally got over my denial and came out of the closet, my family and friends continued to love and support me unconditionally. Many LGBTQ+ folks are not nearly so lucky, and that’s why this is such an important month for our community. I could write pages about my opinion on gender and sexual identity politics in this country, but since this is a quilting blog I just want to stick to the word I typed at the end of the previous sentence: Community.
My journey into the world of quilting began as a solo mission. I took online courses and sat in my sewing nook, cutting, piecing, and quilting all by myself. It didn’t take long, however, to realize what an amazing quilting community is out there throughout the world. Thanks to social media, I soon connected with quilters from near and far, quilters who identify as male, female, nonbinary, trans, queer, straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual. Quilters of all ages. Quilters of so many different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Quilters who speak a completely different language from mine. Quilters who use fiber arts as a way to express their strong political and moral values. Quilters who use fiber arts as a productive way to pass the time. Single quilters. Married quilters. Quilters with children. Quilters with furry children. Quilters who keep all children at arm’s length. Quilters who have made one quilt. Quilters who have made thousands of quilts. The list goes on and on.
This community is just as colorful and varied as the most amazingly enormous rainbow quilt you can imagine, and just as that quilt is bound together by variegated rainbow metallic thread (because why not imagine such a thing exists?!), we are all bound together by our love of this timeless art form.
Pride Month is important for many reasons, but what I hope everyone truly takes to heart is that this is a time of acceptance. Please understand how important it is to allow those around you to bring their whole selves to whatever group you are part of. When we can bring 100% of ourselves to work, to our families and friends, to our creative projects it’s truly amazing how much stronger we all grow as a community. Happy Pride!