Now, this month is not just a month of celebration. It is a month for remembrance, a month where everyone, queer and straight, needs to take time to support the LGBTQ+ community and work toward eradicating hatred.
For many queer and trans individuals, it can be difficult to be outspoken about their oppression, due to fear of violence from friends, family, and strangers. Because of this, it is so important for straight allies to come forward and help raise the voices of LGBTQ+ individuals who are struggling to be heard.
Buy from small time LGBTQ+ creators
This one is so easy and incredibly helpful! During pride month, big businesses like to step in and sell merchandise with rainbows and inspirational LGBTQ+ quotes.
While this is a great way to show that you do support the queer community, it is important to remember that unless they are donating all of their profits to LGBTQ+ focused charities, these multi-billion dollar companies do not care all that much about the people they are marketing toward.
So, what's the solution? Buying from actual LGBTQ+ creators! Any product you can find from a business is probably also sold by an LGBTQ+ creator, and the quality is probably better!
Sure, it might cost a little more, but if you're really trying to be supportive this pride month, wouldn't you be happier knowing that your money went directly to an individual who needs it, and not into the pockets of a billionaire who probably does not care about the community? Finding creators is easy.
If you type in "LGBT Creator" on Twitter, you'll probably stumble upon a few threads of people showing off their work and speaking about their situation or experience as a queer artist. Through these posts, you're bound to find something you love.
Use your social media presence
By using social media, like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, you're able to get the word out about pride month and why it is needed. I recommend focusing on retweeting or reposting content from actual LGBTQ+ users because it is their voice that needs to be heard.
For too long, queer people have been talked over and received hatred for trying to speak out, and by using your platform as a straight ally, it might encourage other people to listen to them.
Donate to LGBTQ+ charities
Find a local charity or a big one. Every dollar counts! Donations can aid so many people and offer support to those who are struggling financially, mentally, or physically. 40% of the homeless population under the age of 18 identifies as LGBTQ+, so donating to your local homeless shelter could benefit a lot of youth who are in need of clothing and supplies.
If you're a student at Missouri State University, the Multicultural Resource Center in Freddy Hall has the transition closet, which accepts clothing donations that go directly to students who are transitioning. Donating here would be a great way to show your support!
Speak out against hate
If you see something, say something. If you hear something, say something. Make an awkward situation. Make people feel uncomfortable for using violent language or attitudes toward the LGBTQ+ community. It is better to cause a scene than to let someone slide because you don't want them to be uncomfortable.
Allowing people to spread hate without saying something makes them believe that what they are doing is okay.
Although the person who is making the negative comment may never dream of causing physical harm to another person, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, by allowing them to speak this way, it lets people who are listening know that that behavior is okay. It isn't and never will be.
This month and every month, offer support to your LGBTQ+ friends and family. You will probably never be able to understand their daily life experiences, but sometimes they may just need someone to vent to.
Whether they are struggling to come out to family, dealing with harassment, or questioning their entire life, be there as a shoulder to lean on. Acknowledge that you can't understand but that you will support them no matter what. Remember to listen. Remember to be kind.
- People that helped me and could help you this pride month ›
- I'm Straight And I Love And Support Pride Month ›
- None ›