How are you planning to celebrate Pride this year?

The best way possible - with a big group of queer friends, straight friends, and friends who aren't quite sure where they're at! Sexuality is a fluid concept, and Pride is an excellent opportunity to come together and celebrate everyone's uniqueness. (Oh, I'll also drink beer and wear my pride flag like a cape.)

Why is Pride month important to you?

LGBTQIA+ people are still regularly abused, attacked and killed in countries worldwide, both by people and governments. Homophobic attacks happen in the UK where I'm from, and in the Netherlands where I live now. It's not safe being a queer person, but one day it will be. And until then, we'll stand up and shout about it, especially this month!

What is one of your favorite things about your identity?

I see my sexuality a lot like going to an all-you-can-eat-buffet. I like garlic bread, but also love pizza and pasta, so why not have it all? I identify 'technically' as a pansexual (which means that someone's gender identity doesn't affect whether I'd find them attractive), but I call myself queer. One of my favorite things about being a queer man is being able to truly be myself. I don't have to hide behind societal norms or feel pressured into behaving or acting a certain way.

I came out to my family and friends when I was 23, it was mostly a wave of love and support back

What was the hardest part about coming out? What was the best part?

I was terrified of what people would think. I've felt this way since I was around ten years old, and keeping it bottled up and pushed away for 13 years wasn't always easy. When I came out to my family and friends when I was 23, it was mostly a wave of love and support back. It took a little longer for some people to get their heads around it, but I think that can sometimes be generational and background-related, so that was okay.

How can we build an atmosphere of inclusion, regardless of our personal or religious views?

Tolerance and acceptance. All backgrounds and cultures have one thing in common - we're all human. It's okay to agree to disagree on some topics, as long as those opinions arent't harming other people.

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