UTOPIA: Living in an equal world

I have always been drawn to human connection.

That euphoric buzz from peeling back the layers of the soul, and getting to know somebody. I get great satisfaction from it. It’s my life. My intentions are always to connect, which led me to a career in broadcasting and DJing.

There’s nothing better than immersing yourself in that primal rawness that pulses through you in a club, as you gaze at the swirling shades, shapes and colours of bodies all around.

In my head, I have this vision of a perfect world, where everyone is welcome. There’s nothing more exciting than bringing faces from different corners of the world together, in an allyship built on a love of music and art. I try to project this vision in everything I do, by making my world as inclusive as possible with my BBC Radio 1 shows, my work with Mixmag and DJing at my club nights, which I hope becomes a hub for colorful sounds and community.

For me, Pride encompasses all of this. It’s solidarity, it’s unity, it’s welcoming other people, but also accepting yourself. I didn’t go to my first Pride until 2017.

Growing up in The Channel Islands, as a teenager, I yearned for a space to project my world, where I could be free, and longed for this community spirit and celebration of identity. Now I have marched, cheered, danced, DJed at many Prides, and I cherish its presence and impact around the world.

It’s been 51 years since the Stonewall rebellion in New York City, an incident which sparked the fight for equality and LGBTQ+ rights. I was lucky enough to have a loving, supporting family and friends who welcomed me with open arms when I came out, but agonising acts of homophobia, and unapologetic attempts to stamp out LGBTQ+ rights from Trump and Boris Johnson illustrates the urgency of how Pride is still very much needed in 2020.

This week my Polish friend confided in me about her fears of how president Andrzej Duda uses homophobia as an election campaign tool, comparing being gay to Communism and enforcing LGBTQ+ free zones. Countless trans people, particularly of colour, such as Dominique ‘Rem’mie Fells’ and Riah Milton are being targeted and murdered. Standing in solidarity for what you believe in is needed now more than ever, and we can’t do it alone. 

Andrew Tess

While there are devastating losses being felt around the world, it does feel like humanity is coming together, united by the same school of thought. Seeing all types of people stand together, as allies – in Black Lives Matter protests and thousands joining for trans rights demonstrations – echoes that spirit of solidarity woven in the fabric of Pride. Watching and taking part in protests around the world, and how they can directly impact court cases, positively change lives and bring about justice is deeply inspiring. I feel this global movement, this desire to fight for what’s right burning in our cores. We need to keep talking, keep sharing, keep questioning. We must strengthen the allyship, awaken minds and continue painting the horizon with the colours of change. 

I know that we are stronger together, we need to leave the world of separation behind us. I am literally the product of two different worlds coming together, as a mixed race queer woman. And I’m proud of that. The least I can do is create change, give a platform to those voices that get lost in the strong tides of rigid society, and bring everyone together on the creative landscape. Diversity is equality, it’s beautiful, exquisite. Pride transcends boundaries enforced by our society and now, more than ever do I appreciate its power. 

I curated the ultimate Pride playlist that reflects utopia. It brings together LGBTQ+ artists from all corners of the world and music spectrum, from heart-pounding techno from DJ & producer Wax Wings, to a badass lesbian anthem from Princess Nokia, to glitchy beats from Stockholm’s Cobrah. If we stand united through love and music, then that is the recipe for a greater world.

Jaguar is a broadcaster, journalist and DJ. She currently hosts BBC Introducing Dance on Sundays at 12:30am on BBC Radio 1.

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