Photography by Lia Clay for Bonobos.
The celebration of Pride is truly a time for LGBTQ+ individuals to reflect on our past selves, our past loves and most importantly, our past history as a community. As we approach the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, Bonobos is acknowledging the past by celebrating members of the next generation LGBTQ+ leaders who are moving us all forward to a brighter future.
Bonobos champions those who are searching to find their own voice and place in today’s world. Activist DeRay McKesson, is one of those people who have found their voice, and actively inspires others to join the fight through his advocacy work.
McKesson is a LGBTQ+ and civil rights activist who focuses on issues of innovation, equality, and justice to better the LGBTQ+ and black communities. McKesson has been applauded for his outstanding activism by Huffington Post, The Advocate, Vanity Fair and many other well-respected publications. Within these pieces, he often shares his personal experiences and struggles as a gay black male and how that fuels him to keep fighting for change.
Whether he is bravely sharing his coming out story at a GLAAD event or speaking to his followers about his life as a gay black man on his critically acclaimed podcast “Pod Save the People" or in his recently launched novel “On the Other Side of Freedom: A Case for Hope,” McKesson is always using his platform to spread the belief in a world where everyone can fit regardless of your identity.
It is quite clear that McKesson believes in living a truthful life that embodies your own personal form of Pride every day. McKesson explains to Out how he was "clear about who I was but not clear about how to be that person in public," and went on to state that “I realized that hiding who I was in public would not lead to happiness or any semblance of mental health and I had to make a choice — either me or how people saw me. I chose me.”
McKseeon believes that Pride brings out a time where we are given more attention to who we are and we must use these moments to our benefit to secure our freedom. When asked to further explain what Pride means to him in this day and age, McKesson shared that, "Pride is about publicly acknowledging the beauty of the complexity of the lives we live and protecting those lives at all levels."
Continuing their celebration of Pride and support of the LGBTQ+ community, Bonobos, in partnership with Pride Media, is making a generous donation to the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center.
Shop the Wear Your Pride Collection at https://bonobos.com/shop/featured-shops/pride.