Why Pride Month in the Army Community is Important

KLONDIKE, CP Army Headquarters – Ahead of today’s Community Pride Parade, we speak to LGBTQ+ individuals from around the community to explore why Pride Month in the army community is so important.

As part of our Pride Month coverage here at the CP Army HQ, we were keen to speak with a range of LGBTQ+ individuals from the different pockets of our army community, who were comfortable with sharing their own stories, journeys and experiences. In addition to this, we wanted to hear why celebrating pride month in our Club Penguin army community is important, and just as important as in the real world.

We would like to extend our thanks to each of the individuals that contributed to this article – for their bravery and vulnerability. It can be difficult sharing your experiences on such a public platform, so we commend and thank each of you for your answers.

 

Mabel, Water Vikings Leader-in-Training:

I identify as being bisexual and I use two different sets of pronouns, both in armies and outside of armies too! In the army community, I’ve definitely heard stories from 5+ years ago of how leaders in the past from different armies have felt about the LGBTQ+ community and the way that they said stuff about them.

But personally now, I feel like the community is much more accepting of it, especially with how we’re seeing leaders and staff that identify as LGBTQ+ joining the community and people don’t automatically focus on that part of them as being LGBTQ+ to be different compared to other leaders that are straight or cisgender per say, it just means you have a different sort of identity for yourself and I love how the community has gone to accept that over the years, especially lately!!! It makes me feel safe to be in this community, especially Water Vikings who were extremely supportive of me when I was dating a girl or even changing my pronouns.

 

Haleyyy, CPAHQ Graphic Designer:

I came out in 2019 as a lesbian, and I was largely inspired to do so because of this community. It was the first place I came out (other than to two in-real-life friends) and I don’t regret it! I definitely feel like this community is a safe space that allows people to express themselves in ways they may not be able to in their everyday lives.

The army community has helped me become more comfortable with who I am in general and has helped me gain confidence in my identity. I know I would’ve come out eventually, but I think that the CP community expedited that process and I’m very grateful for that.

 

Rye Bread, Secret Service Head Officer:

So I came out when I was 16, just a couple of months before I joined armies. in Dark Warriors, they accepted everyone for who they were and I really felt safe there with Meg and Julia leading at the time. I got some really good advice from them too, as I was new to the LGBT+ community. When DW closed, it was hard for me to reach out to other people, because I didn’t know how they felt in that way. wWth Secret Service, I still don’t really know who’s okay with me being pan and who is not. There are always going to be people who disrespect me for that and you just gotta live with it.

There was a former staff member who would constantly harass me in DM’s for my pronouns, just because of the way he was raised and how it’s “not traditional”. People like him are the reasons I’m still uneasy about sharing my story. But as the world goes on, I hope people will realize we’re all people, we just have our preferences. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s definitely not worth your time to go out of your way to ruin someone’s day because of it. For anyone questioning or anyone who felt uneasy with coming out like I was, know that there will always be people who accept you in any community.

 

Sidie, Former CP Army HQ Director-in-Chief:

I am a transgender woman and I had been a part of the army community for 11 years or so. It would be a gross understatement to say that the community has come a long way. The attitude towards LGBT+ individuals and their acceptance in this community is bewildering as someone who hailed from the grimy xat.com chatrooms we used to dwell in. Casual homophobia, transphobia and bigotry were a regular occurrence, often being passed off as “jokes”.

I fell into this trap too, frequently using the f-slur in conversation when I was younger. This is despite the fact that I knew I was transgender from the age of 10. I naively did it to fit in with the toxic culture of the community, I am sure many others did too. The underlying distasteful attitudes towards LGBT+ individuals in the community, even women, were at the core of why I was not public about my identity until 2019. That is almost 9 years out of my 11-year-long career in which I felt too afraid and uncomfortable to speak about my gender identity, for fear of being alienated. My publicity as a trans woman was not consensual, I was forcefully outed when someone in the community doxxed my social media, spreading my deadname as well as pre-transition of myself. This was barely 2 years ago.

We like to think that we’ve changed as a community, and in many ways we have. The amount of acceptance and support I’ve received is enormous compared to how I’d have been treated in the pre-CPPS era, and I am forever grateful for that. The frequency in which I’ve seen individuals openly identify as LGBT+ has skyrocketed in the past few years, and I think it is wonderful that so many people feel comfortable enough to share their identity with the community. I also think it is important to acknowledge the non-LGBT individuals who have helped to cultivate this better environment. There is, however, a lot more progress to be made. Let’s be proud of ourselves without forgetting that we can, and will, achieve so much more.

 

Zay, CP Army HQ Reporter:

Being non-binary means discovering how to be yourself. It means staying true to your own character, you. Nobody but yourself. It’s not anybody else’s responsibility to tell me that I do not look trans or non-binary ‘enough’ because such thing does not exist. I’m in charge of my identity, and I say that I am enough instead of saying that I LOOK enough. I know myself better than anybody else could because I am in charge of my identity. Being non-binary is being my authentic self. I was never meant to fit between the binaries and limitations of being male or female, because I don’t.

Feeling like myself means I get to be free. It’s a space where I feel conscious enough to make my own decisions because it’s my own life without the worry of a specific narrative. Realizing that I’m not strictly obligated to conform to the gender binary changed me forever, and I want there to be a positive light of that in the same space where others are yet discovering their gender-conforming identities. I’m more than just a person in my perception. I’m greater than just a person. I’m a free human that fully embraces myself.

 

Nefenomster, Red Ravagers Leader:

When I returned to the community in May of 2020 I identified as a straight woman, but in 2021 I accepted I am not straight and started exploring my sexuality, now I have settled on pansexual. Shortly after discovering my sexuality I went through a gender crisis, when it started I said “I don’t care about gender so I’ll never have a gender crisis” and then immediately realized I described nonbinary. While identifying as nonbinary I came up with the name Nefe, based on the Portuguese word Nefelibata, and started going by said name. After doing more research I realized I felt like a transman more than nonbinary.

The CPA community has been a big help in my self discovery. Allowing me to test the waters on different pronouns and excepting me wholeheartedly no matter what stage of my life I’m in. I love this community for providing me with a safe space outside of my homophobic/transphobic in-real-life environment. While I do run into transphobia/homophobia in armies it isn’t as bad and I take comfort thinking most these hateful 14 year olds are gonna realize they are also gay in the future.

 

Once again, thank you to everyone who has contributed to this article. We are just hours away from the second annual Community Pride Parade, which will be hosted on the CPA Battleground Discord server at 3:00 pm EST. The Pride Party is now live on the CPAB game, so if you haven’t already, explore the island in advance!

 

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Max

Max is currently serving as Club Penguin Armies Chief Executive Producer. He is known for his positions as a CPA Headquarters Vice Director (2022), ACP Leader (2021), and CP Army Hub Executive Producer (2020). He won ‘Best Admin’ in the End of Summer Awards 2020, as well as ‘Best Editor’, ‘Top Post’ & ‘Best Column’ in the CPAHQ 2021 Staff Awards.

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