a (love) letter from Momotaro Apotheca CEO Lindsay Wynn
Identity, like the rainbow, exists on a spectrum. There are no definitive borders, no finite boundaries. Its colors bleed into one another, the change so subtle, that you might miss it if you try to examine it too closely.
LGBTQ identities are not seasonal. They exist on a continuum, rather than in categories. Omnipresent, not omniscient. Pride, National coming Out Day, Transgender Awareness Week, Bi Visibility and the many other days that honor our existence celebrate the expressions and achievements of marginalized folks on the spectrum of queerness, and it expands far beyond the rainbow capitalism we are often bombarded with. Queerness and coming out is as unique to a finger print as it is to the an infinite number of people, places, and sometimes things that affirm our identities and celebrates the courage, safe spaces, and activities and attitudes we all posses.
Queerness is in our daily actions, rooted in our ability to advocate for ourselves — and for others. Sometimes this means waking up and quietly affirming your own identity in the mirror in the midst of morning stillness, even if only to yourself. And sometimes it’s more — a close friend who stands up for us, a new friend who uses your preferred pronoun or a riot in the streets. When queerness — yours, mine, ours — is affirmed or celebrated, we feel Euphoria.
National coming out day celebrates the identities & achievements of marginalized folks, expanding far beyond the rainbow capitalism ubiquitous during the month of June.
As we continue to unlock our new identities in a "post pandemic" world where opening up and coming out, both literally and figuratively, we are seeing a rise in folks coming out, both old and young. In fact, Gen Z adults who identify as LGBTQ has increased from 10.5% in 2017 to 20.8% in 2021. While Millennials, ages 26 to 41, identifying as LGBTQ increased from 5.8% in 2012 to 10.5% in 2021.
People are more reflective, maybe the world... at times, more accepting. And with more alone over the past 4 years than ever before it seems maybe we have found ways to rlease external pressures to assimilate into mainstream identities and ideals. In fact, it was also recorded that more people reported coming out during the pandemic than years before. Whether that was due to the time spent apart, or because 2020 and 2021 were kind of a moot point. People are proud, and ready to be who they are, where they are, right now.
And while that realization may be visceral, our ability to autonomously move forward can sometimes be much less tangible. We known coming out, can be incredibly challenging.
As individuals and as a company we, too, are left with unknowns, questions, and the need for tools to help us collectively navigate the Great Unknown. At Momotaro Apotheca, It has always been our goal to constantly question, learn, and unlearn to advance an empathetic and inclusive approach to social and political justice and inclusivity. Similarly, our collective approach to battling a global pandemic and the constant battle against white supremacy, we have to, at the very least, work together.
And it is work.
If you or a loved one is struggling with coming out we recommend: The Coming Out Handbook by the Trevor Project