What Pride Means to Yoga Democracy

To all Free Range Humans, 

We wanted to take a moment to recognize the importance of Pride for the LGBTQ+ community

We are a small team here at Yoga Democracy, and more times than not, we feel like a family. Many members of our staff are part of the LGBTQ+ community, and this year, we turned to them and asked ,”How should we celebrate Pride? What would be the most impactful to you?” Their responses were inspiring and humbling. Ceejay, an avid and outspoken advocate for gay rights, wanted to make sure we remembered what Pride stood for beyond the rainbow. Dante was adamant that we provide mental health resources for the LGBTQ+ community, and encouraged us to remember that Pride isn’t just about happiness and celebrating - there are still many members of the community that are still struggling, and have to pretend to be someone they’re not, all the time. 

Although our founders are straight, the LGBTQ+ community is incredibly important to them both. A huge turning point for Travis and Haley individually was the mass shooting at Pulse, the gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. 

On June 12, 2016, a 29 year-old man entered the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, FL and opened fire on the crowd, killing 49 people and wounding 53 more. Pulse was a gay nightclub, and this horrific act of violence would turn out to be the deadliest incident in the history of violence against LGBTQA people in the United States. 

Our co-founders, Travis and Haley, lived in Orlando at the time. Both had grown up in Florida, and Haley was particularly close with the LGBTQ+ community

What happened at Pulse was incredibly horrific, and inspired the community of Orlando as a whole to partake in Pride. The event became a city-wide celebration and moment of solidarity, and changed the meaning of Pride for Orlando, and for the world. 

For the last three years, we have released a rainbow print in the late spring and early summer. Our co-founder and designer, Haley, feels that from her perspective as a straight woman and owner of a brand, her power lies in being able to create beautiful garments that the LGBTQ+ community, and anyone celebrating pride could feel proud to wear. For Haley, the prints support the community. 

She says, “Pride brings a sense of belonging, one of our innate human needs, to all. But not everyone is celebrating with Pride rainbows - some people are still struggling, figuring out who they are, skeptical to come out of the closet, struggling to be accepted by their families, and it leads to critical mental health or even suicide. The more we all recognize and celebrate Pride, maybe the more comfortable those people will be to live their authentic selves.” 

At Yoga Democracy, pride is sewn into every one of our garments. 

We would like to take a moment to recognize the importance of Pride, the struggle and beauty of our brothers and sisters, and offer something beyond the rainbow. Below you will find a list of resources that offer mental health help, hotlines to call if you are struggling, and organizations to donate to. 

 

Resources and Organizations

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

800-273-8255

 

LGBTQ Victory Fund

The LGBTQ Victory Fund is the only national organization dedicated to electing openly LGBTQ people to all levels of government.

https://victoryfund.org/

 

Trevor Project 

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ young people under 25.

https://www.thetrevorproject.org/

 

True Colors Fund

This fund gives LGBTQ people fair housing and protects against discrimination. Their foremost goal is to end youth LGBTQ homelessness. This donation is also tax deductible. 

https://truecolorsunited.org/

 

The Advocate 

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer news leader including politics, commentary, arts & entertainment - your source for LGBTQ news for over 50 years.

https://www.advocate.com/

 

Safe Zone 

Safe Zone trainings are one of the best places to start learning about all things LGBTQ+, but they are just that: the start.

https://thesafezoneproject.com/resources/

 

We at Yoga Democracy, gay or straight, want to live in a world where people feel free and accepted, no matter their gender or sexual orientation. By creating rainbow prints, we hope more people will feel seen and know that they have supporters. We welcome any contributions to this list, and will update to reflect the feedback of our community. 

 

Thank you for supporting us, our staff, and our efforts to give back. We can’t do what we do, without you. 

 

With love, 

Hayley, Director of Content for Yoga Democracy


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