No, this is not an excuse for you to dress in rainbow and get drunk.
As a straight, cis, woman, I think it’s important to understand pride from an ally ship perspective. In recent years, pride and the month of June has been capitalized on. Companies will change their logo to rainbow to show support, but will not actually do anything tangible to support the LGBTQIA+ community.
Even many straight, cis people will go to pride to wear rainbows, get drunk, and dance, but they are missing the entirety of it. So, what is pride? How can one celebrate it, but in a respectful manner?
What is Pride?
Pride is an event that creates a safe place for members of the LGBTQIA+ community to truly be themselves. It’s a celebration no doubt, but the month itself is a time for allies to educate themselves and show support to the community. Pride is supposed to raise awareness for protecting trans youth, supporting homeless LGBTQIA+, validating intersections, supporting those coming out, who have been out, or those who cannot come out yet, and so much more. It’s also a time to encourage feeling at peace in your own skin, fighting for equal rights for all members, feeling free and being surrounded by people who support you.
In 1969, the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar for primarily gay men of color was raided. People were arrested, or were forced aside to wait for police instruction. The crowd grew restless, and they fight back, forcing the homophobic cops to retreat. While this was not the first instance of the community fighting back, it’s definitely the most well known.
The following year, organizers wanted to keep this energy up, and organized a Gay Pride event to counteract the idea that they should feel shame for their identity. This has transformed into a yearly celebration of quite literally pride. Each year brings recognition to how far they’ve come, but also brings awareness to all the work that still has to be done.
Pride is about so much more than people understand. For allies, it’s important to support and celebrate this event but to understand that it’s not about us.
Taking the time to understand the history of pride, and the impact it has in this community will make one appreciate it even more.
Taking the time to educate yourself as an ally allows one to use a voice of privilege, and be an ally to the LGBTQIA+ community outside of June.
Post about injustices to the community to raise awareness, post about benefits to the community, donate to organizations, sign petitions, campaign and vote for candidates who support and fight for, queer and trangender rights.
Pride is longer than June, recognizing this will help you to better understand the celebration.
To all members of the LGBTQIA+ community, I love you and Happy Pride Month!