Let me tell you about what pride month means to me: my pride and joy. Here we have my family and my shop. And today they are more aligned than ever. It took a while to get here. And we're still on the path. Here’s a little bit of my journey in case any of this is helpful to your family and friends.
Pride month is a month where the world for my daughter is little softer, a little kinder. My biggest fear when Carolina told me she way gay was how the world would treat her.
I opened the shop in a small town, 30 miles away from our home in Tallahassee (we now live here in our little town). I now had all my customers that whom I wanted to feel comfortable too. Everyone has their own experiences which lead them to their views, and after all, people were just coming for yarn. Carolina worked with me in the shop, and I tried to shield her for years, to keep her from facing judgment, which I came to realize was closeting her.
Several years ago there was a mom in our lodge who was sharing with me that she was distressed about realizing that her teenage son was gay, and what a quandary it posed for her. I realized I had to live my values and also respect my customer’s life; so all I could say was “our job is to love them.” Over the years I worried about her son; he would come to the shop periodically with his mom and learned to knit. The suicide rate can be really high for kids who don’t feel like they fit in and he (and his family) seemed to be struggling. He’s now a young adult and living on his own. He now visits the shop on his own and it does my heart good to see him thriving, and knitting. If you were in our lodge when he visited and made him feel welcome, I am sure that made his world a little kinder.
Then we had to deal with the pandemic, not just as individuals, but as a shop. That experience, along with what happened to George Floyd, sharpened my sense of purpose and how I could be more of an ally. Which we strive to be better at every day. In those days of 2020, no one knew if small businesses would survive and so why not be our truest selves we could be?
Where we are now: just this weekend Carolina was teaching her knitting classes, students are sharing about their families, Carolina refers to her wife and the conversations don’t miss a beat. I think for a minute, is everyone comfortable, is Carolina safe? And I realize we aren't where we were 8 years ago when we opened. We've all, gratefully, made progress. (You all might know that Carolina also met her wife Natalie by teaching her knitting.)
Pride month means lots of businesses stand up as allies to LQBTQIA, Fuzzy Goat included. And we see a lot of people post their support on social media. And even if it is just this month, even if it is fleeting, in my heart I really believe you mean it. I worry just a little less about how the world treats my daughter and her wife. Just a little post here and there softens our world and adds up to a kinder world for more people than you can imagine. Like seeing a rainbow cake at my favorite bakery gave me a small opportunity to celebrate my daughter while she preps your packages for mailing.
In an ideal world these moments wouldn’t be noteworthy but by calling out these small graces that you all offer, I hope you recognize yourself and do that even more knowing they make a difference.
We are a shop that is committed to doing our part and using our powers and resources for good to promote diversity, inclusion, equity and anti-racism. We welcome all identities including, but not limited to diversity among race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, LQBTQIA, and mental and physical abilities.