Stand Your Pride Up

Don’t mess around with the girl in purple

Amethysta Herrick
Amethysta Herrick
Feeling Purple Pride all around — image by the author

I got a bit angry recently. No, that statement is nowhere near forceful enough to be accurate.

I was 100%, Pure-D, Pissed Off, Transgender-Bitch-on-a-Rampage kind of angry. Hold on to your seats, ladies, nonbinaries, and gentlemen, because I have some Class A bitch amplification ready to power up.

If you are a regular reader, you may recall an article about an ex-friend of mine, who — in response to a text I sent wishing him Happy Birthday — sent me a distressing email. In his email, my ex-friend informed me I defied his religion’s scripture because of my gender transition.

I responded calmly to that email, confirming my transition was not his purview, and wishing his family and him the best. I was unhappy at how our friendship had deteriorated, but since then, I received another email chock-full of Biblical misquotes and pharmaceutical conspiracy theories.

And now I’m angry.

Julia Cameron wrote that feeling anger is good — as long as we use the anger to make the changes necessary to address what angers us. I agree with Julia Cameron, and now I’m ready use this anger.

It’s time to take action.

Taking a swing (in a hammock)

Why did I receive yet another preachy email? The story begins with my desire to lie down in a hammock and read during the Summer months.

Years ago, I had a conversation with my ex-friend about building a hammock. He gave me an idea that I finally put together last week.

I dug post holes and set 4” x 4” fence post sheath below ground, secured with concrete. Now I can install 4” x 4” wooden fence posts and swing gently in my hammock as I gaze into the Ash tree above me. When I need the space, I can pull the fence posts out of the sheath and install caps on top.

Frankly, the project turned out really well. I’m not exactly the most handy person around the house, and despite being incredibly critical of my work, I am pleased with the results.

Because I was so pleased, I decided to include my ex-friend in the celebration. I sent an email that thanked him for his idea, detailed the implementation, and included photographs of a job well done.

The response I received was addressed to my old name, not my current legal name. The response misgendered me and preached anti-LGTBQ rhetoric a third-grade education could dispute. It closed with the allegation that the contents were delivered in a spirit of love.

Last time, I replied nicely. But this email is one too many for me to take lying down. I may have been a fool to believe my news of home improvement would be met by anything other than congratulations. But there is a time and a place for preaching (SPOILER: this wasn’t it).

I am a fighter, baby

I am reminded of Christina Aguilera’s song “Fighter,” written as a woman’s response to a man who mistreated her. The email I received finally pushed me too far, and — in Xtina’s words:

After all you put me through,
You’d think I despise you,
But in the end, I wanna thank you,
’Cause you made me that much stronger.

During 30 years of identifying as bisexual and transgender, I never attended a Pride parade. I never bought any Pride merchandise. I never owned a Pride flag. I was content to show my Pride other ways, including writing and living what I hoped was a “normal” life.

That ends today.

My ex-friend insulted me and expected me to listen to his unsolicited advice. I was angry. I was hurt. And I want to my ex-friend to know:

But in the end,
You’ll see

Standing up for my community

By writing about the transgender experience, by appearing on podcasts, by living my life as I choose after 52 years of suppressing who I am, I recognize I represent my community. I represent the transgender community, the bisexual community, the gay, the lesbian, the nonbinary — all of us.

As a target, I represent the rainbow.

I may not be proud to be transgender, but I will stand up against the goofy shit being slung by the conservative anti-LGBTQ gang.

For the remainder of Pride Month, I will not be invisible. I will stand the fuck up.

I will fly my brand-new Pride flag. I will post photos wearing Pride clothes. I will display my Pride to ensure my neighborhood and my online circle of influence understand I won’t take this email submissively.

You riled up the cat. Prepare to feel claws.

What you can do for me

I ask anybody who follows me or respects the work I do: follow me on LinkedIn, Instagram and Mastodon. Share the photos I post. Use the hashtag #StandYourPrideUp and post photos of yourself in Pride regalia.

It makes no difference if you are gay, lesbian, transgender, nonbinary, an ally — whatever. Just take action.

Tag me if you can, so I can share your photos. My first post is this one. My first photo is above. That’s me — in the rain, basking in the wash of my Pride.

I have sat idly too long. I apologize, my rainbow siblings, for taking 30 years to believe my voice should be heard.

I’m here now, and my meow will resound.


Amethysta Herrick

Ami is a transgender woman dedicated to exploring identity and gender. She is Editor-in-Chief of Purplepaw Publications, LLC.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the offical policy or position of Purplepaw Publications, LLC. Please view the Disclaimer page for further information.