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My Name Is Iden | Calling all rainbows

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By Iden Crockett

It’s June, Pride Month. Twelve months ago, I celebrated my first Pride as an out transgender person and it was one of the most magical and moving days of my life.

Everywhere I looked I saw people like me and on that day they weren’t ashamed of who they were or afraid to be seen. It was a whole day of love and handholding, of laughing and kissing, and it was beautiful. All of us were beautiful, a whole crowd of beautiful, little rainbows.

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Twelve months have passed since then. Twelve months of seemingly relentless legislative attacks against the queer community and the trans/non-binary community in particular. It has been an emotionally challenging time to be transgender and it has taken me the full twelve months to get my head around it.

How could this be America? I was always taught (and believed) that, in America, you are free to be who you are and do what you want just so long as you don’t harm others. So how then? How could there possibly be so much hatred and fear of the queer community?

The reason is obvious. The people preaching this hate, and the institutions that they represent, believe that queer people are doing harm. They believe that my living as an out trans person is doing damage to society. That thought broke my heart until I realized something. They are absolutely right.

I am dangerous. I am dangerous and so is every other queer person who choses to live their truth.

No one understands the power of truth better than a liar and today, in America, our society stands on a foundation of lies. This country was built around the promise of equality but we’ve long known that that promise was made with crossed fingers and forked tongues.

All of these bills and laws are being proposed and passed in defense of a system that depends on fear and shame to convince the strong that they are weak. These people, these governors and pundits, senators and self appointed guardians of society, those who would hide us, threaten us, or shame us til suicide, they want all of us to believe that their institutions are built from solid, righteous, brick. But that isn’t the truth. They want us to believe their walls are unassailable. But that isn’t the truth. They know the truth. They know that it took thousands of these hollow bricks, these lies, to build a wall around the queer community. And they know that when your bricks are solid, when you speak the truth, it only takes a single brick to start a riot.

This month will be my second time celebrating Pride as an out transgender person and this time I want to see more than just a momentary gathering of little rainbows. If we hope to counter this hatred and this fear, then we have to stand up and be proud every month of the year.

Each of us has real power. We must recognize and understand that. We need to live that riot everyday. Hold hands, kiss, laugh, love ourselves and each other, be visible every day. Be as dangerous as they say we are, live your truth out loud, pick up your brick, and damage those institutions. Bring down those walls and those liars who guard them because all of us, queer and straight, deserve the society that we were promised.

We deserve an America who honors its promises. We deserve an America built on truth. We deserve an America where we are all free to be ourselves without fear or shame. We deserve an America that we can all take pride in.

*Iden Crockett is an artist and writer. She lives in Yellow Springs with her wife and three children. You can follow her work at


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