~A Very Happy Pride~
to my LGBTQIA+ nieces/nephews/siblings/friends
and to my fellow allies… STAND THE FUCK UP! WE’RE NOT DONE!
Let me preface this post by saying straight up- my opinion on this topic *does not matter*. I am not in the community, nor am I the parent of a minor who is in the community. I honestly don’t have any say or bearing in this conversation- but I do have questions. Lots of questions, and some frustration. If you are in the community I’d love to hear your opinions on the following topics I will discuss today…and please forgive me if I’m being a shitty ally, I don’t always know what is the right thing to do- but I’m trying and I’m listening, and I really care a lot.
An ally’s job is never done.
While I love seeing the pomp and circumstance of Pride month in the US, it also lulls us allies into a false sense of security. Oh look, there’s a whole ass month dedicated to LGBTQIA+ representation, everything is good now, right?
In my opinion? That’s incredibly wrong. While having a month of visibility is nice, and a step in the right direction for normalizing the community culturally, our siblings are still who they are and marginalized every month of the year. Wearing a t-shirt and flying a pride flag in June, as an ally, isn’t nearly enough. Based on conversations I’ve had and interviews I’ve watched, here are some other ways you can show your support to the LGBTQIA+ community:
- Donate time or money
- If you have the ability, consider making a donation to activist groups that help this marginalized community. If you aren’t able to donate money, consider donating your time. The groups that assist the community are non-profit and mostly run on volunteers. Take a look at groups in your area that you can volunteer with- even if it’s just an hour on the weekend helping with admin duties.
- Be vigilant in public spaces
- If you’re a female presenting person you probably already know what I’m talking about. Groups prone to victimization. like our LGBTQIA+ siblings, are always having to be alert to potential threats around them. Is someone going to attack verbally/physically? Are you in danger? It’s stressful! But there is safety in numbers, and making yourself available in public spaces to provide that security is a great way to help the community (of course don’t be weird). For example. if some shit is popping off, cutting off the toxic event by addressing the victim as if they are someone you know and guiding them away from the situation can help dissuade the attacker because they think that the person is not alone. PLEASE DO NOT ESCALATE DANGEROUS SITUATIONS! AND PLEASE DO NOT PUT YOURSELF AT RISK!!! Unfortunately, here in the US, calling the police isn’t always the best way to go. If you can deter a situation yourself safely, I would personally prefer that approach.
- We all know someone in the community, I’m sure. Sometimes being a shoulder to lean on and someone safe to talk to is what people need. Be that.
Commodification of Pride (?)
I keep bouncing the idea around in my head of this rainbow stuff. By rainbow stuff, I mean the commodification of Pride, as seen in the overflow of Pride themed merchandise that comes in around June. Is it a good thing? Is it capitalism at its finest? Is it a sign that the community is becoming more accepted? Is it just a cash grab? I don’t know, I kind of think…both?
I am prone to becoming endlessly annoyed when companies try to monopolize on political/cultural issues to make money. Like, I get it- because this is America and we are capitalist to our own detriment but…am I just jaded? On one hand, I can see it as a positive. There were times when being non-cis, non-het was illegal. Shit, in some places, it still is. It is definitely a good thing that people (and companies) can sell Pride merchandise and hang rainbow flags without fear of arson (mmmm maybe some places still should be worried- even here in the US). It suggests a cultural shift to accepting the community more.
But like…how much is it actually doing? Is Pride month itself helping, or is it just a reflection of cultural shifts? Is it making us lazy- forgetting that non-het marriage was legalized less than ten years ago?
I don’t know people. I don’t know. I want to hear what you think! Am I being a grouchy auntie or is there something to it?
In any case, please know that you are valid,
you are valuable,
and you are very important in this world.
This planet is a better place with you in it!
Very Happy Pride, this month and every month!
With love- Auntie Blue
P.S. The attached image will be available as a desktop and mobile wallpaper on my Patreon…Whenever I get my computer back. :’^(9