As we enter another PRIDE month, I think a few things are always worthy of being talked about each year.
Supporting LGBTQIA+ people and communities is important year-round. This means using your power and privilege to stand up for queer folks even when they are not in the room, it means fighting anti-trans legislation, it means not ignoring homophobic or transphobic comments and jokes. Don’t fall for the rainbow-washing that will pop up everywhere. What is rainbow washing you ask? It is the phenomenon of companies jumping on the rainbow merchandise bandwagon to cash in on this month, without ever doing anything meaningful to support LGBTQIA+ people in general or their workers in particular. And these same companies often support anti-gay and anti-trans legislation and politicians, so don’t give them your money. Make an effort to buy from LGBTQIA+ people directly, or from organizations and companies that actively work to support LGBTQIA+ people and communities.
Pride is meant to help counteract the cultural and historical narrative that there is something bad, less than or shameful about LGBTQIA+ folx. It is a reason to celebrate the accomplishments of LGBTQIA+ folx, to celebrate the joy of community, to celebrate the type of world that is possible LGBTQIA+ folx can live fully and authentically for who they really are. Remember that the first Pride was an up-rising against the oppression and harassment of the community and it was led by black and brown trans women and sex workers. Their voices and experiences should not be white washed out of Pride. The stories of white, attractive, able bodied, and privileged queer folks should not be the one and only vision of Pride that is shared and known.
Follow queer content creators, educate yourself, and diversify the narratives you listen to, year round. It is our responsibility to help educate ourselves and use our privilege to make the world safer for all.