As a member of the LGBT+ community myself, I thought about what "Pride" means to me. To reflect on that, I want to tell you a little bit about my story:
I was raised in a quite conservative church. I am grateful for the things I learned about loving my fellow human beings and trusting that there is a higher power that wants the best for us.
However, while growing up in the church instilled many wonderful values in me and gave me a great sense of community and purpose, when I was around 15 years old, something happened that terrified me to the core: I noticed that I felt attracted to other guys.
I had never been a typical boy. While others went out to play soccer with their friends, I had always felt drawn to things deemed to be more "feminine", such as art, music or dressing up in costumes (although I don’t believe in gender stereotypes). Still, the realization that I might be gay took some time to sink in, because in my former church living authentically as a gay person and being with a partner you love is one of the worst sins imaginable.
Thus, my teenage years were really dark. I was already struggling with the common insecurities people face during that time and the realization that I might be gay didn’t add to my sense of self-worth at all. In fact, I started hating myself. My only light were the love of my family and my passion for art. It literally saved me. The community on DeviantArt played a huge role in all of it.
At the age of 24, prior to the day that would change everything, I had begged God in prayer for weeks for an opportunity to talk about my feelings with someone. I had never opened up about it, but found myself watching random Coming Out videos on Youtube all the time. I still remember the day when I looked into the mirror and said to myself: „Jonas, you are gay and that is ok.“ I had kind of accepted it personally, but it was eating me up from the inside, that I still had to present a fake version of myself to family and friends. It felt like wearing a mask and I hated it.
One day, while I was on my way to a games night with my sister and some friends, I had a severe panic attack. It left me in pure anxiety for about a week and I just knew I had to get rid of all emotional burdens I was carrying in order to recover. So that was when I told my family that I was gay.
My "darkest of all secrets" I had carried for almost 10 years was finally out in the daylight! It was the most freeing experience I had had up until that point in my life. Fortunately they were all very accepting and positive.
My coming out and subsequent exit from my former church weren't super easy, but made the world appear in a Billion new colours. Finally accepting myself for who I am and being able to completely be authentic with people around me, changed everything for me.
That is what I wanted to express with this artwork.
That is what "Pride" means to me.
To shine from within. To be our wonderful, colourful selves and bless others with our unique talents and abilities.
We have the ability to paint our world in beautiful colours and by doing so, contribute to a more colourful, loving and peaceful world for all.
I want to invite you to join DeviantArt and me coming Friday as we go live on Instagram to talk more in depth about my art, pride month and life as an artist.
When?: Friday, June 26th, at 11:30am Pacific time
Where?: On my Instagram (live, also accessible from dA's Instagram account): www.instagram.com/jojoesart/
And a final announcement: I will be starting a Patreon in early July! I recorded the full process of this painting and the video + a tutorial will be included as a patron reward. More info on that will come soon. Make sure to follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to receive all the updates
Happy Pride Month everyone! Sending lots of love and positivity!
There’s a lot I want to ask about the LGBTQ community. My only problem is finding someone who not only has answers, but also doesn’t judge me for not just knowing these things at my age. Trust me, you pretty much have to explain it me as if I‘m four.
This is so colorful and beautiful! I just wanted to share something with you. I hope you don't think this is strange. Over the years, for some reason, It's been my observation that many people who identify as gay or LGBT tend to be AMAZING painters, songwriters, and artists! I don't mean to be prejudicial, but from my perspective, I notice that artists who identify as gay put so much emotion and passion in whatever they do in the art world (as a music lover, some of my favorites are Sufjan Stevens and Boy George) Is is something about being different that allows them to "channel" or "transmute" their energy into something so passionate? Some gay artists show deep spirituality! So much for the notion that they "don't have the Holy Spirit!"
really beautiful art and touching story!! It's sad that you had to go through hating yourself before you could free yourself from the idea that there was something wrong with you somehow... That's why I have problems with many religions nowadays... the texts were written hundreds, thousands years ago by people coming from a given society, with their concerns and beliefs, needs from their times ... and still some people consider everything that was written as absolute truth... which is kind of troubling...
That's why we've distanced ourselves from churches in general, I mean, not wanting children (both of us) and being bisexual (just me... I'd say pansexual, in theory, but I've never met agender people), those are both big sins for most churches... I remember, when Hubby and I wanted to get married, we were chatting with a priest at some friends' wedding, and the guy said: "I could get over the "bi" thing, since this would be a wedding between a man and a woman (I rolled eyes there ), but in our texts, it is said that the goal of a wedding is children... so if you don't want children, it's no use getting married..." to which Hubby said: "and what about love? isn't a wedding supposed to be a celebration of love?" ... anyway... we got married afterwards, but just saying: churches haven't changed much in the last centuries, while the world has...
your drawing is really beautiful and full of good mood, it makes me smile, thank you for that
(Sorry for saying on this comment but you have to understand that i don't believe in b.l.m. and lgbt+ plus I don't know what they mean)-(#im not going to have friends (a.k.a. watchers a.k.a. brothers and sisters))
You know, I'm the real Dragon on earth and my father is the real tiger
But "pride month"? What's that mean?🤣😆😂