Maia can’t say she’s surprised to learn that out of their triad, she’s the only one who’s ever been to Pride.
Izzy grew up in the Shadow world, and as progressive as her people have been lately, Maia knows they would never have let the young Lightwoods go to a pride parade. Simon, on the other hand, was probably the type of teenager to avoid all types of big gatherings.
So really, she understands why neither of them attended Pride parades before, but it doesn’t make it any easier to explain what the event will be like to them.
“It’s just… it’s joy in its purest form,” she tells them the week before the New York parade. They’re at Simon’s apartment, laying in a heap on his bed, and both Izzy and Simon are waiting for Maia to provide them with the information they’re looking for. “I don’t know how to describe it, really. Have you guys never seen the videos? It’s crowd after crowd of people dressed in all the colours of the rainbow, chanting and cheering and dancing. It’s one of the most liberating events you’ll ever go to, really.”
“And everyone there is accepting?” Simon bites his lip, fidgeting with the rings on Izzy’s hands. “I mean, we all know that even within the community, some people just don’t accept polyamorous relationships the same way they’d accept a gay or lesbian couple. Just the other week…”
“Yes, I remember what happened the other week,” Maia grimaces. “But Pride is different, I promise. People just don’t really pay attention to the details. It’s about being together and sharing happiness and just generally having a good time. I doubt anyone will notice our little triad in the myriad of other people.”
“Excuse you,” Izzy pouts. “People always notice me, and if you think I’m going into that parade looking anything less than my best, you don’t know me as well as you think you do. I already have an outfit in mind, and it’s going to look fabulous. Magnus is even going to help me with my make-up and paint bisexual flags onto my cheeks. He’s just overjoyed at the idea of going to pride with more people than just Alec.”
Maia chuckles, because she knows exactly how much fun Alec is when they’re out and surrounded by hundreds of strangers. Simon may be worried about people’s reactions, but Alec is just worried about having people nearby. It’s sweet that he’s willing to forget about his own anxiety just to please Magnus, and Maia can only hope that Simon will eventually cave and do the same for Izzy and her.
“Wait, flags?” Simon asks, and Maia frowns at him.
“Yes, flags,” she shrugs. “You don’t have to, but Izzy and I are both going to have our respective colours on display. We even tried to coordinate our outfits, even though our colours don’t exactly match.”
“Oh…” Simon murmurs. “What are my colours?”
Izzy and Maia share a loaded glance. They’ve never really discussed Simon’s sexuality because they know he isn’t completely sure about it himself. They know he loves them both dearly, but they’ve never really asked him if he identifies as something in particular. It’s not like it has an impact on their relationship. They love him no matter what, and they don’t care if he identifies as polyamorous or pansexual or queer.
“That depends on you,” Maia finally answers. “Izzy is going to be in blue, pink, and purple for the bisexual flag, and I’m going to be in red, blue, and black for the polyamorous flag. But listen, if you’re still not sure what you identify as, you can just wear black and call it a day. If anyone asks, just say you’re cosplaying as a vampire and dragged Alec into your plan.”
“If you think Alec is wearing black to this parade, you are sorely mistaken,” Izzy cut in, carding her fingers through Maia’s hair and chuckling softly. “As soon as Magnus told him about it, he apparently asked for make-up advice and let himself be dragged on a shopping trip. I have it on good authority that he’ll be dressed in blue.”
Simon gasps exaggeratedly and Maia brings her hands to her chest as though she’s deeply betrayed by this revelation.
“I can’t believe him,” she sighs dramatically. “Who’s going to be there to support Simon? Who’s going to hold his hand and remind him it’s alright to prefer black to the rainbow? Who’s going to remind him he doesn’t need to be docked in his flag’s colours? Izzy, your brother is a traitor. I can’t believe he loves Magnus enough to go ahead and break all his moral values.”
“I highly doubt those are his only morals, Maia,” Izzy laughs, shaking her head at her partners fondly. “However, I’ll admit it was a bit of a shock to hear Magnus say that. Don’t worry though, I’m sure he’ll be back to pitch black as soon as the marching is over.”
“Undoubtedly,” Simon snorts. “But that doesn’t help me with my issue. It’s just… I think I know how I identify, but I’m not sure if people will be okay with me wearing those colours even though I’m dating two people at once. Like… Shouldn’t I automatically identify as polyamorous, since I have several partners?”
“Bullshit,” Izzy scoffs. “You can identify however you want to, no matter how many partners you do or don’t have. I’ve been bisexual for as long as I can remember and dating you two hasn’t changed that in the slightest. Maia identifies as polyamorous, but that’s her own experience. And even if you tell us you’re bi or pan or whatever, you don’t have to share that with the world. You can show up in whatever colour you want, like Alec, and not bear a flag. Nobody will notice, Simon.”
Their boyfriend is silent and, for a few moments, the only sound in the room is Maia’s quiet humming. She’s got her legs on Simon’s lap and one of her arms swung around Izzy’s waist, one of her favourite positions to be in.
“So, I don’t have to wear yellow, pink, and blue just because I think I’m pansexual?” he finally asks, and Maia’s heart swells at the trust he’s showing them. He’s never said those words out loud, and although Maia knows it doesn’t matter to some people, she also knows it matters to Simon.
“Absolutely not,” she replies, beaming at him proudly. “And thank you for telling us, Si. I hope you know we love you so much, no matter what colours you choose to wear.”
“Even if I show up in pink?”
Maia winces slightly and Izzy’s whole face scrunches up disgustedly, and Simon just bursts out laughing, rolling onto his side and kicking Maia’s legs off him. He looks carefree and satisfied, and when he lifts his eyes towards him, he’s grinning delightedly.
“If you show up in pink, I’ll make sure you sleep on the couch for an entire week,” Izzy threatens him, wagging her finger at him menacingly. “No offence, love, but you look absolutely atrocious in any shade of red, and that includes pink.”
“I’m wounded,” their boyfriend pouts. “Truly wounded. But fine, I’ll just stick to plain old black and act like the vampire that I am. Though, if Magnus teases me for it, I’m blaming this all on you. I bet you’re going to be wearing pink, Iz.”
“I am,” the brunette flips her hair over her shoulder. “But that’s because I look wonderful no matter what I wear.”
“Yes you do,” Maia says, smiling at her girlfriend dopily. At the end of the bed, Simon mock-gags and rolls his eyes at them. “Which is why I’m trusting you with your outfit, and why I’m not trusting him.”
They bicker for a while longer, Simon throwing a pillow their way and complaining about picky girlfriends who say colours don’t matter but then prove that colours do very much matter, except if you’re Isabelle Lightwood. Eventually they settle down, all of them holding hands and cuddling even closer than they were before.
In the following silence, Simon sighs and closes his eyes before whispering against Maia’s cheek.
“And if I want to bring a flag with me to the parade?”
His voice is soft and uncertain, and Maia’s heart fills with so much love for this single human being. She looks at Izzy over his shoulder and is completely unsurprised to see the love she feels for Simon reflected in their girlfriend’s eyes.
“Then we’ll buy you five hundred flags so you can drag them there and show everyone how proud you are to be pansexual, out, and in love with two amazing women.”