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The Price of Not Being Seen is High

Posted by Lendy Hensley on

Happy Pride!

 

My name is Lendy, and I am a gay homosexual.

I own Bite Society with Katy – also a gay homosexual, and Shana our straight ally. Shana is the person we ask things like:

 

            Why do straight people always have a fire in the fire place?

 

Jessica, our social media/email everything person, has asked me approximately 1,462 times to write a Pride blog. I have mulled it over wondering what Pride means to me. I have been gay bashed in my beloved liberal Seattle, WA, and I have seen a rainbow flag flown over the Space Needle. And what do either have to do with Pride?

 

I will give you a little bit of the fun and a little bit of the important (at Bite Society, we are fun and important).

 

In June 1995, I was a shiny new lesbian at the Seattle Pride Parade. Every parade kicks off with the roaring engines of Dykes on Bikes. Who are these riders? Well, in 1995, they were almost every player on the softball team I had just joined.  For the first time in my life, I felt like a cool kid. I didn’t have a bike, but I got waves, high fives, and I belonged. That is a big part of the Pride story. Belonging, being seen, and celebrating.

 

I didn’t come out until I was 30. There was almost an intervention by my friends. My coming out to them went something like this:

           

            Me:      “I’m gay.”

            Them: “Thank God. We didn’t know how to tell you.”

 

I am lucky that way. My friends have always been accepting, supportive, funny, and generally awesome. Not everyone is as lucky as I am, and that is why Pride month, Pride parades, Pride flags, Pride rubber ducks, and Pride Tins with Bite Society Cookies are all so important.

 

People need to be seen and accepted for who they are. If it seems over the top, it is because the price of not being seen is high.

 

In September of 1995, the Mariners were in the playoffs. I was lucky to have tickets. The people sitting behind me were well into some beers and flasks when they noticed that four lesbians were sitting in front of them. They started calling us names under their breath. The first beer spilled on my friends might have been accidental, but then it escalated into beer being dumped on us, and my partner getting punched in the face.

 

When I recounted my experience at work, my colleague asked if we had been kissing. I thought, “Golly, this seems like a great time to start my own business.” 

Like many LGBTQ+ business owners, I found a haven by making my own job. It has given me the freedom to be myself and do things like produce a Gay Pride Cookie tin that supports other small LGBTQ+ businesses, is crazy adorable, and makes a fantastic Pride Month gift.

Sending a Pride gift is a nice way to say, “Hey, I see you.” It is also a nice way to support this small queer business and many others.  

 

Shop our Pride Cookie Tins, $4 of each tin is donated to the GSBA

 

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