How To Be An Ally This Pride Month
Pride month is celebrated around the world to bring awareness to and celebrate the LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual) community. Here are some tips on how you can become an ally and take your support to the next level.
1. Be loud and proud
Whether you want to be more supportive of an LGBTQ+ family member or friend or support their rights in general, the first step is to show your support. You can do so by joining pride parades or groups centered around how to make the world a better place for the queer folk. You could also talk about Pride with your family and friends and help them become more accepting. Another thing you could do is put a pride flag pin on your bag or wear merchandise made by people of the community.. Let the world know that you are an Ally and support the Pride movement!
2. Educate yourself
If you have questions or you’re confused about what it means to be part of the community, learn!
There are plenty of resources that you can turn to, to teach yourself about the movement and its roots.
- Learn about the history of fighting for civil rights for people from the LGBTQIA+ Community around the world.
- Learn about the biology and sociology of gender and sex.
- Teach yourself the correct language to use when talking about Pride.
- Learn about laws around homosexuality in the country and the fight for same-sex marriage.
- Learn how prejudice and hate affect the well-being of marginalized groups.
- Make use of the correct Pronouns for people as per their preference.
And if you still have questions, don’t be afraid to ask someone from the community.
3. Listen to their stories
If you want to hear firsthand about the experiences of the LGBTQ+ community, talk to them directly. If you are respectful, most will be happy to share their experience of how hard things can be or were for them. . It would give you perspective and make you think about things in a different way. Perhaps you will learn about how the default language we use in our day-to-day lives can be exclusionary and open your eyes to how an environment that you consider welcoming could be hostile to someone with a different sexual orientation. Having open ears and an open mind is one of the best ways to be an Ally.
4. Create a safe space
You might be unaware if the people around you are a part of the LGBTQIA+ Community. It is your responsibility to let your friends and acquaintances know that you are someone they can turn to when they need a helping hand or supportive shoulder and make a welcoming environment where they can come and talk to you without judgment. People are often uncomfortable to talk about themselves if they fear they would be looked at differently. You must remember that they are the same person they’ve always been and are only letting you see their true selves so you must make sure that the ‘Safe Space’ is free from people who may bully or discriminate. This shall give people the assurance that they can depend on your acceptance and open up to you.
Having someone by one’sside can be a huge boost for those who do not want to fight their battles alone.
5. Acknowledge their challenges
Hiding ones true self can lead to a lot of pressure which results in Gay people beinglikely to suffer from mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Be aware and acknowledge their hardships in order to understand their challenges and where ever possible, try to lessen their burden.
6. Fight for LGBTQ+ rights
The most powerful thing you can do as an Ally is to join the fight for Equal Rights. Pride started to commemorate the Stonewall riots that took place in the US that eventually resulted in homosexuality becoming legal there. While Section 377 has been repealed in India leading to the same result, there is a lot more work to be done to ensure true equality. For example, without same-sex marriage being recognized by the law, gay couples are unable to receive income tax benefits for their partner or sign up for a home loan together. Without homosexuality being taught as part of sex education in schools, there is a higher risk of misinformation spreading and prejudices being formed at a young age.
There is a lot that still needs to be done for LGBTQ rights and the movement can use any Ally it can get. So if you believe in equal rights for everyone and want to show your support, there is no better time than the present!
AN Feb 36/22