Kathleen Ebbs On Pride Month, Coming Out and How to Support Those in the LGBTQIA+ Community
For the sixth year in a row, POPSUGAR is dedicating the month of June to recognising LGBTQIA+ voices, having honest conversations about sexuality and gender, and honouring individuality, through first-person interviews and allyship guidance. The POPSUGAR team is sharing these stories throughout the month, so be sure to find all our pieces here.
Kathleen Ebbs isn’t your average influencer. Boasting close to 80,000 followers on Instagram, the artist is a proud champion for the LGBTQIA+ community. Using their platform for good, Ebbs chooses to advocate for the voiceless.
Their edgy aesthetic and no-nonsense personality is effortlessly cool, something countless people are trying to emulate at this very moment. As a non-binary person, Ebbs spoke to POPSUGAR Australia about the month of Pride and how their life was miles away from what it is now before they came out.
POPSUGAR Australia: What does Pride Month mean to you?
Kathleen Ebbs: There are lots of different things but I think Pride month is a time for our community to get loud. We live in a very heteronormative, cis world and Pride month gives us an opportunity to scream and shout and be like, “we’re here, we’re not going anywhere, we are fabulous.” It’s a time to celebrate all the colours of the rainbow.
PS: What does it mean to embrace LGBTQIA+ Pride?
KE: I feel like we should be embracing it every day of the year. We exist all the time, not just when it’s trendy or when it’s Pride month. We deserve to be embraced all the time, not only because we’re human beings and everyone deserves that, but because our collective experience is special. We exist 365 days of the year.
PS: How can individuals continue to support the LGBTQIA+ all year round?
KE: Live, learn, read, talk to people. If you don’t know something then find a reliable resource. Organisations such as Minus18 and Wear It Purple just to name a few, are places you can go to learn about us and our history. The biggest thing I would say is education.
PS: How are you planning to celebrate Pride this year?
KE: By existing and feeling shame-free in my existence as a gender-queer lesbian. Which is something I didn’t always live in. I grew up religious and suppressed my sexuality and gender, which is something that wasn’t easy to suppress. It was to the point I couldn’t actually look at Mardi Gras and Pride, it was very hard. I knew that was the community I belonged to but I didn’t think it was possible. So during any kind of “gay holidays” that come about, I find it therapeutic to be that representation for others.
PS: Can you speak to your coming out experience and what that was like?
KE: I suppressed my sexuality since I was six. I became religious, I wasn’t around any community, I didn’t want to look at it and I didn’t want to touch it. I dated a cis man, and it was on that journey that things started to feel more wrong and I became unhappy. So I looked to social media and found a community of queer people, and seeing that representation online made me feel comfortable. They weren’t sad, they were happy. People celebrated and supported them, and I always thought if I came out I would be sad. So that motivated me to face my fears. It was a long slow journey, but the biggest thing that helped me was social media.
PS: What advice would you give to someone who might be grappling with their sense of identity and might not know how to discuss this with their friends and family?
KE: The internet is a friend when it comes to that sort of stuff. Organisations that focus on queer youth are a great resource to reach out to, just so you get the feeling that you’re not alone. The youth leaders there are so great to help navigate that time in your life. Also following queer creators on social media will help you feel less alone.