Saturday, July 2, 2022


On the Saturday after the first Covid-19 lockdown was lifted, in June 2020, I went straight to a shoe shop and bought a pair of Converse hi-top trainers, with rainbows emblazoned across and under them. I have only now had to throw them away because I wore them out, a hole opening between the canvas and the sole.

Meanwhile, the Dr Martens 1461 shoes I wear to work every day are stitched together in the colours of Gilbert Baker’s original gay rights flag, with a flag embroidered on each shoe – they were half the pride of a standard, black-stitched pair because I bought them in October, and not June. I need to replace the insoles.

I was not trying to make a point in buying or wearing wither pair of shoes, especially  but Converse and Dr Martens definitely were, and it plays to my advantage. If anything, I am appropriating the corporate message of inclusivity by making it outlast the limited time they were intended for sale, making them back into standard pairs of shoes – my shoes. Pride Forever, basically.

Pride Month marked in June because it commemorates the protests that took place at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, lasting over six days from 28th June 1969. In the United Kingdom, this is then followed by our Pride March in London, itself first taking place on 1st July 1972 because it was the nearest weekend to the anniversary of the protests.

There is no set time to run a Pride parade – one UK city, Southampton, will hold this year’s march on 27thAugust, with the nearby town of Eastleigh waiting until 10th September. This is just as well, as establishing monthly or weekly observances includes having to work against only observing them for that period of time, particularly if, like Pride Month, rainbows are added to seemingly everything, until they are removed again, until next time.

This Pride Month, I wrote an article for my company’s newsletter about coming out as trans at work, which took place years ago. In hindsight, I spent longer on it than the lifespan of a newsletter warranted, but I wanted what it said to last beyond that short time, and I wanted to share the trepidation I felt as a closeted person arriving in a new workplace. What I wrote was a sentence I feel proud for writing, as not only did I find a way, it made people laugh: “An apt description of this time is that I was still getting used to not living in the Matrix anymore – something wasn’t making sense, but once I gained the ability to describe it, the world changed.” 

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