It had been a while since I had spoken with my dad which made our Father’s Day more in depth than usual. We had a lot to catch up on!
He was quite literally wrestling with a grill, trying to rig a fire starter out of a coffee can. He bemoaned, lovingly, that he is about to have a full house as my sister is coming back to town, his sister and family are coming to town, and my mother’s brother and family are coming to town – and they’re all staying under his roof. He was stressing before the stressors arrived.
For me, I told him this is the busiest time of year for me: it’s Pride. As any creative queer will tell you, Pride means everyone and their sister publication wants you to work for them to cover some LGBTQ+ something in some capacity. “It’s been a lot,” I told him. “I just wish they all knew that I am here the other 335 days of the year. I got bills then too!”
He laughed, something clicking for him of the reality of being a queer creative: being used (and sometimes abused) for your expertise in the name of hashtag Pride. Then he said something really surprising, something that I hadn’t thought of: why don’t you double your rate this time of year since you’re so in demand?
What a novel idea! What if we all started offering Pride rates, where companies and clients and others hoping to work with us within June got a “special” of being charged double? What says “I actually care about your opinion and work, queer person.” than paying you more for your time? Beyond hiring other queer people to collaborate year round, this is something that made me pause and think, “Wow: I should fucking charge people double what they want to pay me in June because hashtag Pride.”
This, obviously, is a bit of a dream. But what if it wasn’t? My dad is a military man and, while he leans into patriotic tear jerking advertising and media, I do not when it comes to queer items. But would he ask for double his rate or double the attention or double the love on military holidays intended to do for him what people do for Pride? Absolutely.
Let this be a lesson for us and, perhaps, a warning for next year: you’re going to need more cash for us queers. We got bills to pay – and our lives extend beyond June.