Going To Pride: Some Tips For Allies, Curteousy Of Your Neighborhood Queer
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Politics and Activism

Going To Pride: Some Tips For Allies, Curteousy Of Your Neighborhood Queer

"Activism Is My Rent For Living On The Planet"- Alice Walker

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Going To Pride: Some Tips For Allies, Curteousy Of Your Neighborhood Queer
Campus Reform

It is June, which means that it is Pride month, a month dedicated to celebrating the lives and accomplishments of the LGBTQ community. However, this month has begun with a dark cloud settling over our community. On Sunday morning (June 12th) I opened Facebook and was bombarded with articles and the statuses of my friends about the Pulse nightclub mass shooting. I sat in silence for a moment and absorbed this tragedy, it felt so deep that I could almost feel it aching through my entire body. I began to sob, the ugly type of crying that is uncontrollable.

I was mourning strangers.

I was mourning the loss of lives.

I was mourning for my LGBT brothers, sisters, and siblings.

I was mourning for the victims' families.

As someone who is LGBT, I'm exhausted. I'm exhausted with the media and the disgusting and rude people making this tragedy a joke. This is not a joke, nor should this be treated as a way to gain political leverage. We don't need your prayers, we need your ACTUAL support.

Here are just a few things I want to tell allies before they head to their local Pride this year.

Recognize our hurt and do not depoliticize our pain.

This Pride is different, and you need to recognize this. While we are celebrating, we are also mourning. Do not use Pride as a way to party. Celebrate, but recognize that some of us might not feel like really celebrating this year. Understand and respect the LGBT people's voices. Do not overpower our voices and take our platform to speak. To be a good activist and ally is to understand that these events are to specifically focus on giving the LGBT community the opportunity to have the LGBT voice as the centerpiece.

Do not romanticize/fetishize our culture.

I'm not your token anything, and just because you have a gay friend DOES NOT mean you're are an ally. Being an ally is actively supporting and rallying for the LGBT community, THE WHOLE LGBT COMMUNITY! You don't get to cherry-pick who you support in our community. You support us all or you don't support any of us. We are not stereotypes or kinks you can just throw around. We are people, living and growing, loving and hurting.

Understand WHY you are celebrating Pride and really ask yourself "Do I understand the implications of the history of this social movement and what I am fighting for by attending Pride?"

This one is self-explanatory. Read. Educate yourselves. REALLY listen to the LGBT community. ASK questions.

No, you cannot "relate" to the struggles of being LGBT because you are not LGBT. Do not use our day to celebrate Pride as a way to highlight how "great", "compassionate", and "understanding" you are as an ally. Simply celebrate and spread love. We need y'all more than ever.

I know this one seems a bit mean, but sorry, not sorry. For too long LGBT people have been quieted. This is our day to heal, to celebrate, and be around our fellow community. This is about celebrating our marginalized identities. So, don't be an asshole, heal and celebrate with us. We love and appreciate each and every one of y'all.




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