Ian Daniel: Love Letter to the LGBTQ Community
For Gay Pride Month, Billboard asked numerous pop culture luminaries to write 'love letters' to the LGBTQ community. Below, Ian Daniel, co-host of Viceland's Emmy-nominated series Gaycation, shares his. Read more Pride Month love letters here.
While filming Gaycation, I've had the privilege of witnessing various LGBTQ+ Pride celebrations all over the world that have proved the extreme importance of celebrating our truths in the face of adversity. In 2015, I attended the very first pride celebration in Jamaica, where a brave young group of 30+ LGBTQ+ people danced in Emancipation Park in Kingston. To some of us in America now, this may seem like a small gesture in comparison our grand parades, but this was a monumental moment in a country with harsh attitudes and laws against LGBTQ+ people. A few years ago, their dancing would have been unimaginable, and on that day they waved their pride high and danced freely in peace. And I'm reflecting too on the pride celebrations in the recent past in Ukraine where neo-nazi groups have violently attacked marchers with tear gas, weapons, and violence, and yet still LGBTQ+ people showed up and walked tall.
When we all now are reflecting on the celebration of pride in America, we should feel fortunate that we can so vividly, and openly express our truths, but also remind ourselves this is not the case for some in our own community on a daily basis. This year, let's celebrate the more marginalized voices and give those who have been more silenced in the LGBTQ+ community room to shine.
In a time of regressive politics and ideologies in our country, I think it's important to stand up together and celebrate our queerness, uniqueness, oneness and solidarity. There's not a better time to honor our freedom to dream and to work at creating new, brighter possibilities for our future, collectively.