Thursday, April 18, 2024

Distract yourself from the election with the Pride Warriors Episode 2!

Our queer superheroes are out to save Homotropolis from the Moronavirus in Episode 2 of Pride Warriors!

If you missed Episode 1, check it out here.

Gary Adrian Randall, the creator of Pride Warriors, had this to say:

My name is Gary Adrian Randall. I am the artist and creator of Pride Warriors. And in case it wasn’t obvious, I am a flagrant, unapologetic homosexual.

2020 has been a hard year for everyone, especially the gays. Not only has the Covid-19 pandemic made it socially unacceptable to meet random torsos on Grindr, but the current administration is once again threatening our civil rights. And to top it all off, this year PRIDE was cancelled.

Of course, we gays didn’t bitch about PRIDE being cancelled, because being treated like second class citizens is nothing new for us. Also, the #BlackLivesMatter movement was gaining a lot of momentum during the PRIDE months. So I think I can speak for us all, when I say that as a community, we were all happy to pack our glittery speedos away, and support our black brothers and sisters in their continuing fight to be treated like fucking human beings. To put it mildly, we can relate.

That being said, I wanted to do something special for the LGBTQA community, and thus Pride Warriors was born.

It started off, as most gay stories do, with a crafting project. In 2019, to celebrate World Pride in New York, my trans roommate and I decided to make gay superhero costumes. I wanted to be the gayest gladiator since Russel Crowe, and she wanted to be a trans valkyrie. One huge glitter crafting explosion later, we found ourselves walking through Soho, at the very front of the World Pride parade in New York. While that experience came complete with glittery speedos and the unapologetic sexuality that has become a hallmark of our community, it was so much more. It was a life-changing experience.

I don’t know if it’s the fact that this dumpster fire administration has given half our country permission to openly hate us, but as i’ve gotten older (I’m 37 now), I have developed a newfound appreciation and understanding of the LGBTQA community.

After the parade, when I looked around at the rooftop afterparty, surrounded by my very best friends, I saw much more than a bunch of homos dancing in jockstraps.

I saw girls, too.

LOL, but more than that, I saw family. I saw groups of people, celebrating their PRIDE with their found families. I saw people, who I know would have my back based solely on the fact that we share a common experience, of being ostracized, and marginalized by society at large. And the strength that comes from adversity, and the freedom and power to choose the people whom you hold dear.

The LGBTQA community is nothing, if not a network of families, created with survival in mind. And with this current administration, those bonds of family are the best asset we have.

PRIDE, at its essence is about way more than glittery speedos and parade floats. PRIDE is the feeling you get when you finally come out of the closet. When you realise that you are exactly who you are supposed to be. When you finally accept it for yourself, and tell the world, without any true knowledge of how drastically it will affect your life. PRIDE is an understanding of yourself, and that you have a place within the LGBTQA community. PRIDE is bravery. It is a state of being. And even though it can technically be cancelled, it can never be taken away.

That feeling of PRIDE, is why Pride Warriors is unapologetically political. While most of it is just irreverent gay superheroes trying to make you laugh, the underlying themes are real and scary, just like brunch hangovers.

Because here’s the naked truth. Being gay IS political. As a community of people who have to constantly fight for civil rights, our very existence is rooted in politics. When Marsha P. Johnson threw that first brick at the Stonewall Riots, our community began to rise. And although we still have a long way to go, we continue to rise, held up by our bonds of family, and through the strength of our shared pain.

Marsha P. Johnson was a black trans woman. We owe our rights to a person of color. And likewise, the #BlackLivesMatter movement deserves our support. The only scene in Pride Warriors that makes me physically uncomfortable is the Breonna Taylor moment. It makes me cringe, that I have to make an artistic statement about the fact that police are literally just allowed to murder black people with impunity. I felt compelled as both an artist and a gay man to include that tribute in the episode, even though it made me cringe.

Because the truth is, if all marginalized communities unite (LGBTQA, POC, immigrants, and women), we become the majority. And there is power and beauty in unity. The kind of power and beauty that no amount of bigotry and hate can erase.

So Pride Warriors started out as a way to make something fun for my community, and it became something much more. It became an expression of my need to make a political statement, and try and encourage my LGBTQA community to unite with each other. And then unite with people of color. And then unite the rest of the world.

The LGBTQA community is a family. And family is rooted in love. But when you remove the constraints of sexuality and gender, that family extends much further, and that love can reach every person who has ever felt ‘less than’ because they were different. 

As homos, that is our calling. That is our heading. And for me, it starts with Pride Warriors.

So fellow homos, I ask that you share this video with your friends. And support the #BlackLivesMatter movement however you can.

And for the love of Michelle Obama, get out there today and VOTE.

Robin Gray

[He/Him] Robin is the Founder of Gayming Magazine. He's on a mission to fly the LGBTQ flag proudly over the video games world and drive forward authentic representation in the industry, in the press and in the games we love.