Loic, Who Grew Up Gay in Homophobic Cameroon, Shares ‘What Pride Means to Me’
As the LGBTQ community revels in the celebration of Pride Month, it goes without saying that this rainbow-drenched month signifies something different for those who were once forced to flee a home that criminalized queer people. Meet Loic Landry, who hails from Cameroon and now calls London his home.
Raised in a large, conservative family, Cameroon — where gay sex is punishable with jail time — proved to be a battleground for a teen coming to terms with his gay sexuality. “I was worried about disappointing my family, and I was afraid that I may get killed or put in jail if anyone ever found out. I then decided to deny that side of me almost entirely,” Loic told GuysLikeU.com.
Feeling as if he didn’t belong in Cameroon, Loic left the African continent to study in Moscow, before eventually settling in London in 2010, and where he still resides. Now, as we slowly emerge from a global pandemic and the LGBTQ community begins a return to normality, Hornet has asked Loic to share his thoughts on the meaning and significance of Pride.
“What Pride Means to Me” by Loic Landry
My first Pride was in London in 2011, after I moved from Moscow. I was walking in town, and my eyes could not look away from all the sexy guys dressed and glittered up in rainbow colours. All this, for me, looked and felt surreal to me, especially since I have never seen this before. I did not want that day to end.
In my mind, Pride was a time to watch people parading in extraordinary clothes, but when I went to a Pride parade, I saw it’s much more than that. I have worried and questioned my sexuality for many years, thinking that being gay would never be accepted — until I was around all these people taking me into the community. They welcomed me for who I am, and that for me was a game-changer.
Ever since my longtime civil partner passed away during Pride month — on 18 June 2017 — I think I feel more connected to this month than ever before. I’m hoping the celebrations happen this year, and I am planning to attend every single one of them.
This year and especially the last one have been truly challenging for all of us, and we must always look towards the future and not let the past hold us down. We must be, first of all, thankful and grateful that we are standing right now, wear our biggest smiles, and most of all, enjoy ourselves and be happy.