Ducks of PRIDE: Kiara Flowers

PRIDE Month is here and we here at AfroDuck Studios (ADS) are proud and excited to have members of the LGBTQ+ Community as part of our team. We decided to ask our Pride Community Members of ADS some questions regarding their journeys and stories. We are excited to share these stories with you and hope you enjoy them.

IMG_1602.jpg

Kiara Flowers

FullSizeRender.jpeg

“I’m just becoming me.”

Who are you?

My name is Kiara Chantay Flowers and originally I’m from #Believeland aka Cleveland, Ohio. I’ve been in Ohio for my entire life.

What do you identify as and what are your pronouns?

She/her & I identify as bisexual

What does Pride mean to you?

To me Pride month is ultimately about being yourself for yourself.

When did you first become familiar with being part of the LGBTQ+ Community?

I can’t say I always knew exactly what I was because I suppressed a lot growing up in a religious household and attending catholic schools. It wasn’t really until my later teen years and with the help of a friend in my early 20’s that I came to terms with my sexuality and truly began to accept who I was. I still got a little ways to go as I wouldn’t say I’m all the way out per say lol but I also don’t feel like I owe it to anyone but myself. I’m just becoming me.

What does the word “discrimination” mean to you?

Discrimination stems from ignorance which often times internalizes hate and can progress into action which then becomes fear for people on the opposite side. Discrimination means fearing your true self because of what effects it may have on your social status. Fearing what may happen because of your religious beliefs, race, gender or sexulaity. Discrimination causes nothing but destruction in everyone’s lives.

IMG_1756.jpeg

“every act of kindness is appreciated…”

Have you ever heard of a story about an LGBT person facing discrimination in your state, or have you personally been discriminated against for your sexual orientation or gender identity?

I counseled a young LGBTQ member of a church I used to go to. We grew up together I was about 5 years older than him so naturally I saw him as a younger brother and I was the first person he came out to. He was alone and felt condemned by his family and his church and became depressed and even driven to attempting suicide but fortunately he was unsuccessful. He has gotten better through the years but unfortunately he has not been able to find a strong support system so he lives a suppressed life under his family. I know there are many kids like him that struggle with this and are driven to suicide but are actually successful and it angers and saddens me. This is why I believe we need more POC representation so that kids like him can see they’re okay and not grow up hating themselves.

Can you briefly describe some of the LGBTQ+ people who are important to you in your life?

I’m lucky to work in such an accepting company. I’ve never been able to be around so many proud Queer individuals and a company that values their contributions. There’s someone in particular I met from work who has now become a good friend of mine who has helped me with not only accepting my sexuality but helping me understand that it doesn’t fit in society’s defintion of bisexulaity.

What advice would you give to someone who was struggling to understand their identity?

I always thought you had to “come out the closet”. But closets are for clothes. This is your life and you should do what makes you happy. A good friend helped me understand this logic: “You don’t owe anyone anything especially when it comes to your sexuality. You belong to yourself and you should live for yourself.” Not everyone has a safe and comfortable environment where they can embrace themselves. This is a journey and we’re all still learning. You won’t have all the answers no one does. You also don’t have to fit into a perfect box because sexuality is fluid. I am nowhere where I want to be but I’m closer than I was even from two years ago. You will find your place where you feel most comfortable. Announce yourself when your ready. Be your best friend. Love yourself and continue to live life as you please. things will come and progress on their own♡

What advice would you give to an Ally to better serve and protect the LGTBQ+ Community?

My brother is not only my best friend but the greatest ally I’ve ever known. He has been very supportive throughout my journey and this year he joined me at my first PRIDE event!! Supporting and respecting the community because we are all human beings with our own individualism. Keep an open mind. Every act of kindness is appreciated regardless of the size.

Do you have a favorite fictional character who is part of the LGBTQ Community.

Honestly I can’t think of a fictional LGBTQ character that I identify with or is truly LGBTQ. Most of my heroes stem from Music artists such as Frank Ocean & Halsey. They make me proud to be who I am because they live for themselves unapologetically.