It's Pride Month!

A group of people dancing at a Pride event

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You might ask yourself:

If I'm straight, can I celebrate?

Of course you can! The LGBTQ+ community is as inclusive as it gets, so everyone is welcome at Pride.

But remember, Pride began as a protest against injustice. So before you join the party:

  • Reflect on the LGBTQ+ community's contributions to society

  • Respect LGBTQ+ culture without appropriating it

Queer Culture Gone Mainstream

You can thank the LGTBQ+ community for a number of trends that have gone mainstream over the past 50 years.

Slang

Two women wiggling their fingers, saying,

If you've ever replied, "Yass, queen!" to a question, or used the word "fierce" to describe something powerful, you can thank drag queens for originating the lingo .

Dating Apps

Batman using a dating app and matching with RobinBefore Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble, Grindr gave rise to a new kind of dating culture where you can find anything from casual hookups to lifelong love through your phone.

Dance Music

Women dancing in a club

From the disco lofts of New York, to the warehouses of Chicago, to the techno clubs of Berlin, BIPOC queer communities led the way on the dance floors and in the DJ booths.

Fashion

Rupaul walking into a room wearing a colorful jacket

A lot of the fashion trends that have come and gone over the years started in underground queer culture, making their way onto catwalks and Vogue covers, and into your wardrobe .

Recognize The History

Text saying,

Behind the history of these trends is a struggle. LGBTQ+ communities have fought not only for acceptance into society, but liberation from oppression.

A man saying,

  • In North America over much of the 20th Century, any type of sexuality or identity that didn't fit heterosexuality and cisgender norms was criminalized.

  • People could be arrested for dressing up in clothes that defied gender conventions, or gathering in clubs that catered to same-sex relationships.

  • The Pride movement began in 1969 as a protest against police harassment by patrons of The Stonewall Inn, a gay club in New York City.

The Struggle Continues

A woman raising her first over a rainbow background

LGBTQ+ communities are more accepted in North American and Europe because of their increased visibility and representation in the media.

Cultural trends have played a huge role in this acceptance. But the struggle isn't over just because Justin Trudeau wears rainbow socks or RuPaul's Drag Race is a hit TV show .

In many places around the world , including the US, people who identify as LGBTQ+ still face discrimination and criminalization.

A Facebook status update that reads For many, Pride is more than just a party. It's a fight to broaden liberation to:

  • queer youth and people of color

  • people who identify as transgender or gender non-binary

  • Two-Spirit people from North American Indigenous communities

  • any LGBTQ+ community around the world that faces discrimination and criminalization

How Do You Fit In?

So you want to take part in Pride as a straight ally. How do you both celebrate and support LGBTQ+ people in your life without raining down on the parade?

Flaticon IconDo

  • Learn more about the history of LGBTQ+ people in your city, region, and country

  • Speak out to family and friends about why Pride is important when they express anti-LGBTQ+ beliefs

  • Listen to LGBTQ+ people when they talk to you about their identities and experiences

Flaticon IconDon't

  • Speak over LGBTQ+ speakers, performers, and activists when you attend virtual or live Pride events

  • Judge people for openly and proudly celebrating their sexuality or gender identity, even if it makes you uncomfortable or you think it's weird

  • Forget to support the community after Pride Month ends!

Take Action

A man gliding down a sidewalk over the text,

Are you ready to celebrate Pride as an ally?

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This Byte has been authored by

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Steve Birek

Education For All!