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HOLIDAYS CAN BE HARD

Artist and activist Sir Christopher Saint pens #FindPride Love Letter to the queer community

Written by Sir Christopher Saint

[Content warning: Suicide.]

In recent years, during the month of Pride, I’ve always been extremely excited about the celebration—the glittery and colorful extravagance all throughout the month of June. 

 

However, this year, I’ve taken a pause to really understand my journey, the one I’ve taken individually and the one the queer community is on at the moment. I feel blessed to live in West Hollywood in Los Angeles, one of America’s queer-friendly meccas, though the sparkle in my heart has dimmed as I feel increasingly more concerned for my community across the country where our safety, protections and rights are all at risk. Unfortunately, none of us are safe. 

 

Queer people are at the center of a political storm that is seemingly more divisive each day. A record-breaking number of anti-LGBTQ+ laws have been introduced into state legislatures across the country and the Human Rights Campaign, for the first time ever, has declared a national state of emergency for queer people. Drag shows, pride festivals, and queer nightclubs are meant to be safe havens, but as we’ve seen in headlines sprawled on the news, they have evolved into targeted hotspots for protestors and violent armed extremists who want to do harm. 

 

As an activist, I’ve been working with several youth organizations over the past three years and seeing how today’s social climate weighs on the hearts and minds of young people is, at times, tragic and devastating. The epidemic of suicide continues to wage powerfully. The most recent studies from the Trevor Project show that 41% of young queer people seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year.   

 

Finding pride is, indeed, a journey. And today, whatever your age, the battle to find love, healing, and acceptance in a world where your very existence and humanity is questioned and invalidated by others is challenging and on some days, impossibly heartbreaking.

 

To celebrate pride this year, I wanted to write my love letter to the queer community and my younger self. And to give honor and reverence to the beauty of our people… Here it goes:

 

I performed in West Hollywood this Pride season and before I entered the venue, I had to bolt past a fleet of angry sign-holders, a pack of more than fifteen mostly middle-aged burly men, professing my presumed fate in hell and that God’s unconditional love did in fact have a condition and wasn’t available to me as a queer person. 

 

I recall the shame and guilt I inherited as a young kid. I learned from a young age how to absorb the ridicule and pain of the world and relay that broken record back to myself. Like many queer kids past and present, I had a gray cloud of passive suicidality follow me every day in the form of a nagging feeling that “maybe the world would be a better place if I wasn’t born.” 

 

My journey to calming the noise of the world and bringing peace to the war inside my own heart has been a long one, and has spanned three decades. My healing voyage has included 1) hours of therapy, including a new dive into affirmative therapy with a queer therapist over the past eighteen months; 2) an ever-expanding spiritual awakening, practice, and discipline in connection to the divinity and love within me; 3) a community of family and chosen family that has supported me unconditionally and shielded me from the worst of attacks; and 4) the gifts of music and art as vessels to share my story of resilience and love with the world.  

 

Through what seemed like unfathomable odds, I have learned to love myself without condition, and to share that love with others who may still be living under their own gray clouds.

 

First and foremost, I want to offer gratitude and sincere appreciation for the queer people who’ve lived brave lives before me, and have paved a path for people like me to live authentically. Without their fight, either loudly or in the shadows, we would not be here in this moment today carrying on a legacy of fabulosity, strength and love. 

 

To queer youth around the world, you are special. You are loved. Even if it isn’t safe for you to be your authentic self in your own home, just know you are worth it. You matter and you are here for a reason. I wish you nothing but prosperity and freedom. Home or the world today may feel like a prison, but one day, I pray that you will feel so in love with life to freely celebrate the person you’ve always been and are meant to become. 

 

To those who are still figuring it out or in this moment may still need to conceal who you are out of your own safety or for other reasons, you are loved. You are courageous. Please keep going. Seek forms of positive support and safety where they exist, in community, friendship, or therapy. One day we will live in a world where none of us have to hide who we love and who we are deep down inside. My life’s work will be to continually create safe spaces where queer love, joy and expression can expand and thrive. I love you.

 

To all queer artists, keep singing, keep creating, keep making your art. Be visible and fabulous as you were all born to be. The world needs you. Our younger selves need us. Our stories matter. Our love matters. Keep being the best dressed in the room!  

 

To Chris, I’m proud of you for everything you do. Thank you for committing to your healing journey every day. That is your commitment to loving yourself. You deserve love, please don’t forget that. You are a light and no matter what the world says, Heaven made you perfect. Throw some glitter in the air and give the world a show. Like your queer family, you are meant for an awesome purpose and don’t ever dim your shine for anyone. 

 

Happy Pride, everyone… 

xx Sir Christopher Saint

 

If you are having thoughts of suicide or are worried you may harm yourself, contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or call or text 988 or chat now. The Lifeline provides 24/7 confidential support at no cost whether you’re in need of immediate help or are looking for prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.

LGBTQ young people can contact the Trevor Project for immediate, 24/7 support. Call 1-866-488-7386, text ‘START’ to 678-678, or chat now for a free, confidential conversation with someone who understands.

For more resources, visit NumberStory.org/FindPride.

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