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When Pride Is About Survival

When Pride Is About Survival

When Pride Is About Survival

Everyone loves a parade. But this Pride season, the anti-LGBTQ+ politics of 2023 make clear what's at stake.

In Out's new cover story with Kim Petras, the trans singer unpacks her historic speech at the Grammys earlier this year. When she took the stage for winning in the category of Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, alongside Sam Smith for their hit “Unholy,” she thanked her mother who “believed me, that I was a girl.” The remark was unplanned. But in that moment, it was important for Petras to acknowledge that a supportive parent, that her mom’s belief in her, was “responsible for me being alive.”

Across the world and throughout history, LGBTQ+ people have struggled to be believed about who they are and who they love. Make no mistake — it is a fight for survival. Studies show that anti-LGBTQ+ legislation is linked to a rise in suicide attempts among queer and trans young people. Which is what makes this new tide of U.S. laws targeting trans youth — denying them gender-affirming care, bathroom access, participation in sports, and even the ability to be addressed by their pronouns — so despicable. Under the guise of protecting kids, conservative politicians are harming them. Their disbelief has deadly consequences.

The upside is that, even in the face of the worst bigotry and attempts at erasure, LGBTQ+ people respond with remarkable resilience. Pride is the epitome of our refusal to stay silent, our willingness to declare, “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it.” This was the statement that Petras made at the Grammys, and indeed, throughout her career. Although “Unholy” was her first mainstream hit, Petras has crafted songs that have become mainstays at gay clubs due to their celebration of her sexuality, body, worth, and heart. Need a Pride anthem? From “I Don’t Want It at All” to “Throat Goat,” Petras’s oeuvre will deliver.

This is Out’s Pride issue. And in addition to Petras, the pages of our new issue are filled with LGBTQ+ folks who fight for visibility and wield cultural power for good against forces of hate. What better weapon than comedy? Through her stand-up tour, Fortune Feimster is serving much-needed comic relief to LGBTQ+ folks in red states. On Netflix’s FUBAR, she’s also bringing queer representation to a spy-adventure show led by the ultimate macho man, Arnold Schwarzenegger. On the big screen, Rob Marshall is directing Disney’s much-anticipated live-action The Little Mermaid. As a gay director, he knows why Ariel’s story resonates with so many queer and trans people yearning for love and a place to belong. And he strives to do his forebear, the late gay lyricist Howard Ashman, proud with a diverse retelling. On Broadway, Some Like It Hot sizzles thanks to gay composers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who discuss adapting a beloved film about gender-bending for the 21st-century stage. In the art world, Kane C. Andrade empowers trans men through portraiture. And Can’t Cancel Pride returns for its fourth year to broadcast messages of hope (and great music) to LGBTQ+ people.

Sometimes, Pride begins in one’s own backyard — or living room. Queer Eye’s Bobby Berk reveals the power of interior design to improve mental health as well as his groundbreaking show’s ability to give society a makeover. Speaking of makeovers, check out our guide to men’s makeup, as well as our fashion spread, where the go-go boys of the queer L.A. party Hot Dog instruct in the art of Speedo-wearing. Put these skills to good use in the Out Traveler section, which reviews the best gay and lesbian cruises. Also in this issue, our Finance columnist Nick Wolny outlines the real cost of surrogacy for same-sex couples, and Diplo is praised for opening the door wider for sexual fluidity.

There’s a study I think about often from the Trevor Project. The 2019 report detailed how just one accepting adult can reduce an LGBTQ+ young person’s risk of a suicide attempt by 40 percent — call the group’s lifeline at (866) 488-7386 if you ever need to talk about this issue. Just one. As politicians try to ban our bodies and our hearts, I think about Kim Petras’s mom. I think about my own mother, who told me she’d love me no matter who I loved. Dear reader, I hope you know that you are loved — not despite your identity, but because of it. In this world, which can be so crazy and cruel, there will always be a community here for you. And someday, if not already, you’ll be there for someone else.

Happy Pride.

Daniel Reynolds
Editor in Chief, Out magazine

This article is part of the Out May/June issue, now out on newsstands. Support queer media and subscribe -- or download the issue through Amazon, Kindle, Nook, or Apple News.

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Daniel Reynolds

Daniel Reynolds is the editor-in-chief of Out and an award-winning journalist who focuses on the intersection between entertainment and politics. This Jersey boy has now lived in Los Angeles for more than a decade.

Daniel Reynolds is the editor-in-chief of Out and an award-winning journalist who focuses on the intersection between entertainment and politics. This Jersey boy has now lived in Los Angeles for more than a decade.