Happy Pride Month, Nomads!
This year’s theme is all about owning your own pride.
What does that mean to us at Earthbound?
We’ve been a leader of inclusivity and a supporter of individualism since we first opened in 1996. We attract people of all backgrounds, cultures and beliefs under one ideal: we are all a part of one world and one race, the human race.
It’s never mattered to us what you look like, where you’re from or who you love – as long as you open your heart to all.
This month we’re highlighting 4 LGBTQ relationships related to our Earthbound family.
Follow their journeys as they discuss love, hope and the challenges of 2017.
MEET Jeremy & Austin:
Jeremy (left) is a District Manager for Earthbound Trading Co. He recently married his partner Austin in November 2016 thanks to an impromptu, surprise ceremony!
1.What makes your love story unique? or special?
Jeremy: Ok…so this is kind of awesome. For different reasons, we moved our wedding date up suddenly from April 2017 to November 2016. We had about 72 hours notice, and our friends all came together and threw us a Harry Potter-themed wedding. It was AMAZING! We had people donating money over Facebook, dropping off decorations…strangers were creating Snapchat filters for the ceremony. It was insane. But amazing. We were married by our community, our family, and our friends. Our loved ones threw us a wedding…THEY married US. And nothing has ever made me feel so supported in who I am and who I love than that.
2. How do you stand up for what you believe in?
Jeremy: I believe in people, so I stand up for people. There are too many marginalized voices in this world, so I lift mine up to make up for anyone else who feels like they don’t have a voice. And the truth is…I’m still finding my voice. Austin and I aren’t even a full generation apart (he’s the same age as my youngest sister) and our experiences as LGBTQ are very different. I have had the experience of being fired from a job when they found out I was gay, I was asked to leave the private university I attended when I started being more open about who I was, but my husband was able to come out during high school. I can’t imagine what that was like… high school was bad enough when everyone thought I was gay, much less it being confirmed. We have both had to fight in different ways. I was fighting to be seen. When I was growing up there was the push for everyone to “come out of the closet,” we fought for visibility because it simply normalized the fact that we were here. Now we fight to be heard. We want to be understood.
Austin: Almost to echo what Jeremy said: it’s about people. As a culture, LGBTQ individuals just want to be acknowledged as human beings. It’s hard enough to be represented in mainstream media, let alone accepted in an everyday social situation. As an Aries, I don’t really tend to be shy when it comes to speaking my mind, so when I see an injustice I’m going to call it out. Whether it’s someone being harassed for the clothing they choose wear, correcting someone for improper pronouns, or simply defending a fellow LGBTQ individual, I think we must always choose to defend our fellow human. We must encourage others to be good people in the same breath.
3. What’s it like being LGBT in 2017?
Jeremy: Scary. There are civilized countries with concentration camps for gay people right now. People are murdered for their sexuality all over the planet. But I can’t tell you how many times people have reminded me of that when I talk about progress we haven’t made in America yet. For example, in Texas, you can still be fired for being gay. And some people have responded by saying, “Well, at least you’re not in one of those countries where they kill you!” It is so weird to live in a society where you can be excited about progress, but if you ask for too much you are reminded that at least you aren’t getting murdered anymore. That’s what being gay in 2017 is like. There is so much progress that has been made. Yet there is this guilt put on us for asking for more than what we’ve been given. “You can get married now. Can’t you leave the bathrooms/cake decorators alone?”
4. What do you wish people knew about you? Or about your relationship?
Jeremy: I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this or not: Dear World, stop asking us who is the boy and who is the girl. We’re both boys. That’s what “gay” means.
Austin: Good lord, can I get an amen in the back row?! If I have to listen to one more person ask this I’m going to scream. Because you’re not really asking who takes which role, you’re asking who is more feminine between the two of us. The best part of being gay is that I can literally be myself and I don’t have to worry that my partner won’t accept me because I’m not adhering to some heteronormative standard that’s placed on straight relationships. If I want to paint my nails that doesn’t take away from the fact that I can still change my own oil.
Jeremy: That reminds me…can you change the oil please?