We all know how important Pride Month is to the LGBT+ community, and we have all seen shocking stories in the news of hatred and violence against our colourful family. The work of an LGBT+ advocate is never over, and will never be over until everyone becomes an advocate for our rights. That’s right straight people – your gays need you! You don’t have to have a family member or friend to be an ally, you don’t need to be a part of some political movement…you just need to be a decent human being who understands that love is love.
But wait! Straight people aren’t the only allies here (betcha didn’t see that one coming). Fellow LGBT+ peeps, we have a responsibility to back each other up. How many times have bisexual people felt ostracised from lesbian/gay people? How many times have gay or lesbian people brushed over trans rights? How many of us have dismissed someone who is non-binary or ace? Below, I have listed a few ways that we can ALL help the movement to provide our community with a safe world where we can be ourselves.
Confused? Ask Questions!
Eek, so many terms and labels (amiright?) where does one begin to fathom it all? Ahh, I hear you. Yes, LGBT+ terminology can be a bit chaotic as modern times has opened up people’s acceptance of themselves. My advice here is if you meet someone and you’re not sure what pronouns they use/their sexuality/etc, just ask. When it comes to sexuality, you don’t really need to ask (it’s none of your business hun), but if you really need to just ask “Hey, I hope you don’t mind me asking, but how do you identify?”. If you’re not sure what someone’s gender is, you can ask “Hi, what pronouns do you use?” We will be more than happy to let you in, if you come to us with compassion. Still bamboozled (I hear ya), well don’t worry, check out my LGBT+ Glossary now to educate yourself on all things rainbow.
Lend An Ear
A lot of us come from loving families and communities that have no problem with who we love, or how we identify – but many of us do not. If you know someone going through a tough time with coming out, check in on them. Support us by caring for us. Unfortunately, people out there get their kicks from hurting us and making us feel like we’re scum (asssssshooollllesss). Don’t be quiet. We all need a shoulder to cry on sometimes, be that shoulder. And if you come from a community that has taught you to fear or reject us, but you still want to help, one thing you can do is break down that automatic confrontation you might feel. If a co-worker comes to you for support, don’t instantly reject them for who they are (makes you a prick if you do), take a moment and imagine you were in their shoes.
Party, party, party! Yasss we all love a good party – yes, we ALL DO. Having a birthday bash? Summer barbecue? Christmas rendezvous? Invite your LGBT+ friends! People often don’t invite us to events because there’s one bellend who calls us by names I won’t include here (but you know the ones), and gets weird when a gay guy talks to them. Or that one straight girl who says she supports gay rights, but would be mortified if a lesbian hit on her (babe don’t kid yourself). Do you really want these people at your parties in the first place? Okay, maybe you do, perhaps you have to invite them, but bring your LGBT+ friends too and show them that we are like everybody else. We aren’t all James Charles, we don’t all want to convert your man to the gay agenda (shade). And if you’re introducing us to your friends, don’t just describe us by our sexuality or gender, we are human we have more outstanding qualities than that.
Show Your Followers That We Are All Human
Social media can be bittersweet. We can all spread the love on social media, but there are bigots who use it as a platform to poison us with their hate. If you’re haplessly scrolling through and you come across something spiteful, or someone bullying us for who we are, report it. You don’t have to be LGBT+ to report homophobia, transphobia etc., and you don’t have to be an atheist to condemn religious zealots. Many of us are religious, and it’s not religion that hates us – its indifference. Equally, if you see something wonderful happening in our world, such as new laws and milestones. Show your support by celebrating with us, not against us.
If you’re struggling to come out, or just want someone to talk to, there are helplines you can call and websites you can visit over on my Help page.
Featured Image Credit 📷: Jennifer Burk