It's Pride Month!
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.
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 .
Before 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.
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.
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
Behind the history of these trends is a struggle. LGBTQ+ communities have fought not only for acceptance into society, but liberation from oppression.
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
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.
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?
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
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!
Are you ready to celebrate Pride as an ally?