For this year’s pride month, Socksmith reached out to strong voices and allies in the LGBTQ+ community to share their stories. Not surprisingly, many of them share common themes that questioning young people experience as they find themselves in their personalities and sexualities. We hope that hearing these stories will help them on their journey of their own discovery of self-love and pride.
Socksmith is also donating 100% of profits from our Pride Novelty Sock collection to crisis and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ+ youth.
To kick things off this Pride month, we'd like to you to meet Jazz Egger (she/her), our Lesbian Pride ambassador:
Jazz, how do you describe your pride?
“I’m in a relationship, but I love saying that I am in a lesbian relationship because there is still so many people out there that think of the word ‘lesbian’ as a bad word. I think by saying it out loud with pride I break the stigma.”
Jazz Egger experienced homophobia as a teen and internalized some of that into her own identity and orientation. “I remember this one time when I was dating a guy and I told him about how I think that I find women attractive, and he said ‘well but you would never fall in love with a girl right? That would be disgusting.’ I froze in that moment.”
On Jazz's Moment of Pride:
It is a situation many of us are familiar with. A snide comment or an obvious disgusted reaction from a parent that stays with us, prevents us from exploring that side of us. Maybe we would not judge another for their queerness, but that comment stops us from allowing ourselves to explore. “Only when I turned older I started embracing that side of me. I travelled the world when I was young and I believe it definitely helped me being more open towards myself. I reached a point where I just didn’t care anymore about other people’s opinions and started to openly identify as queer.”
How do you describe being queer?
“I would say it is anything outside of the norm/typical expectations of what love should look like. Being queer can mean you are attracted to more than one gender, but it can also mean you are attracted to no genders at all. It is an umbrella term for anything outside of the heterosexual norm (including trans folk). For me, being queer means loving women.”
What is your advice to people who want to be stronger allies to the LGBTQ+ Community?
“There is a quote that I love that goes 'I will respect your opinion as long as your opinion does not disrespect anyone’s existence.' I live by that, which is why I always advocate to not use the word ‘gay’ as an insult. I know most people don’t think of it as a bad thing but it adds a negative stigma to being gay. I believe it is not enough to be ‘not homophobic’ but anti-homophobic. Hate should not be tolerated, ever.”
What would you like to say to someone who may be struggling accepting their true self?
“Take your time. You are brave, wild, and wonderful, and you are not alone in wanting to wait to make sure it is what you want. You don’t have to have a big coming out like I did. Sometimes being able to look in the mirror and say ‘I’m perfect this way’ is already enough.”
CDC LGBTQ Youth Resources
Up next - Bi Pride...