After 18 months of living through a pandemic, a new civil rights movement, and various phases of closure, this Pride Month not only marks an important moment to pause and celebrate resilience and progress. set of the LGBTQ+ community after an unprecedented year, but also a long overdue re-convening of the strangely chosen families that lie at its beating heart. Few people understand that better than photographer Rafael Martínez, who was born in Tijuana, Mexico and lives in New York, and whose images of young, quirky people in Baja California offer an insight into the past. The challenge and victory of a community is constantly at stake.
As the pictures of Martinez and quotes from the models made them immediately clear, Pride Month may only come once a year, but for the LGBTQ+ community, the joy of connecting is something beyond this increasingly popular celebration. Here, meet 10 of the hottest new faces in modeling from within the gay community, as they tell Vogue what Pride means to them in 2021 — and whom we should celebrate after a year like no other.
“For me, Pride means not being afraid to really express yourself, regardless of the consequences you may face. Being real and being true to yourself can be so dangerous sometimes, but your respect and dedication to yourself is so much more beautiful than the consequences. That is pride. I think not only this past year but all years, we should honor the black and brown transgender women who paved the way for Pride. Without the power of these transgender women, Pride wouldn’t even exist. As and always have been, these black and brown transgender women have never been afraid to be themselves, because being yourself is more painful than avoiding danger. “
“Pride is my community. My family chose. The idea that I can turn around at any time and have the support I need from them is something I’m proud of means, as well as a means of loving and supporting them in their time of need. No matter how lonely I may feel at times, I still have someone I can call a friend, my relative, my sister; The support system around me is like no other, completely composed of love, trust, absolute care and abundant positive energy.… I think society tends to focus too much on honoring and honoring gay and transgender people who fight just to get through their day, despite the fact that they were murdered, or passed away. Many of these people have spent their lives as dedicated activists, hoping and fighting to improve their lives (and the lives of their communities) without a moment’s rest. rest to just celebrate their own. I don’t really feel celebratory. On the contrary, let us begin to open up discussions about the origin of hate. Don’t just talk about gay, transgender and non-binary people this month. We’re here all year round, so let’s start the practice of celebrating our lives. Please celebrate and honor us by defending us.”
“Unfortunately, every year causes a stir when it comes to the transgender community, but for me personally, being proud [this year] means harnessing the power to wake up every morning regardless of millions of people across the globe. The world wants to see me. dead or without health care. Proud means acknowledging the trans people who died so I can be here. It is urgent to shift the focus from rainbow merchandise to both honoring and protecting transgender children. They are the future and they are calling for help. Let it be known: We hear you. We are with you. We are fighting for you. Please stay on earth with us”.