Stop Telling Me You're An Ally And DO Something Already

Stop Telling Me You're An Ally And DO Something Already

As Pride Month comes around, I appreciate your support, but I'm going to need less talk and more walk.

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This is the most annoying thing about Pride Month.

While I understand that you want to announce your support for your LGBTQ+ family and friends during Pride Month, to those in the community, your declarations ring rather hollow.

Make sure you're doing something to back up those words. It's incredibly hurtful, year after year, to see treasured family members and friends, and less treasured corporations, declare their support for equal love and gender identity and then forget about it once June is over.

While we appreciate your support and want your support, we'd like to see more than a Facebook post or two during June.

For example, consider making a donation, (if you're able) to a non-profit that helps LGBTQ people. For example, The Trevor Project is a phone hotline dedicated to speaking to suicidal LGBTQ teens when they are in need. If you can't afford to donate, see if there's anything else you can do to help them, like volunteering. They also offer educational programs.

There is also The Victory Fund dedicated to helping get LGBTQ.

Here is a list of more organizations that you could help, either with manpower or with a few extra dollars.

Secondly, another good way to be an ally is to educate yourself. While most LGBTQ people are happy to answer a few questions every now and then, the burden of conveying information and helping to understand should not always be on the minority. For a place to start, I highly recommend Susan Stryker's book Transgender History, as it goes through lesser-known Transgender history all the way to present issues like the bathroom bill.

Speaking of which. Vote. Vote with both your money and your ballot. Or even your lack of money. When the Salvation Army Santa's roll around every year, perhaps consider the fact that the Salvation Army is actively discriminating against the community. Put your change somewhere more useful.

Chic-fil-A is notoriously anti LGBTQ, so here's a list of more companies to avoid while you're at it.

And again, vote during the Federal elections, the state elections and midterms. There are loads of LGBTQ issues that are hot right now, including plans to prevent same-sex couples from adopting, children of same-sex couples may not be considered citizens and the infamous bathroom bill.

Again, we are happy to see your support, but we want to see it more than just one month out of the year, and we want it to be more than just a Facebook post every now and again. Use one of the above ways to show us a little less talk and a little more walk this Pride.

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21 Things You Say To Your Roommate If You Two Are Practically A Married Couple

Until I made this list, I didn't realize how absurdly close my roommate and I were. #sorrynotsorry
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Let's be real: you and your roommate have said these things at least one to each other.

1. "Can you turn the light off?"

2. "We probably shouldn't go out for dinner again...right?"

*Complains about not having money* *Spends $8 on Chipotle three times a week*

3. "I always pick where we go"

This is a fight you have with your roommate almost every day when you're roommate is as indecisive as mine.

4. "Do you have my keys?"

5. "Can you pick me up?"

6. "Is it hot in here?"

7. "Does this outfit look stupid?"

The answer is usually yes. No offense.

8. "Can you throw this out for me?"

9. "Can we get ice cream?"

10. "I need coffee."

This text is usually sent when you know your roomie is out running errands... errands you know are near a Starbucks.

11. "Can you tell me what happened?"

12. "Are you asleep?"

There have been times where I couldn't tell if you were asleep or dead... and I had to say this out loud to check if you were alive.

13. "Check your DM's."

*Cracks up in the middle of nowhere* *Catches a weird stare from your roomie across the room*

14. "Can you plug this in for me?"

15. "Can you pick a movie?"

Another instance where "I always pick" happens.

16. "Look at this girl's Instagram."

*Chucks phone across the room at roommate*

17. "Can you call me?"

18. "Can we meet up?"

19. "Can you help me find my phone?"

*Tries to leave the house to do something* *Loses phone* Every. Time.

20. "What should we do tonight?"

*Tries to get ready to do something fun* *Ends up staying in for another girls' night*

21. "Why isn't everyone as great as us?"

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Cover Image Credit: Juliarose Genuardi

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Pride? Pride.

Who are we? Why are we proud?

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This past week, I was called a faggot by someone close to me and by note, of all ways. The shock rolled through my body like thunder across barren plains and I was stuck paralyzed in place, frozen, unlike the melting ice caps. My chest suddenly felt tight, my hearing became dim, and my mind went blank except for one all-encompassing and constant word. Finally, after having thawed, my rage bubbled forward like divine retribution and I stood poised and ready to curse the name of the offending person. My tongue lashed the air into a frenzy, and I was angry until I let myself break and weep twice. Later, I began to question not sexualities or words used to express (or disparage) them, but my own embodiment of them.

For members of the queer community, there are several unspoken and vital rules that come into play in many situations, mainly for you to not be assaulted or worse (and it's all too often worse). Make sure your movements are measured and fit within the realm of possible heterosexuality. Keep your music low and let no one hear who you listen to. Avoid every shred of anything stereotypically gay or feminine like the plague. Tell the truth without details when you can and tell half-truths with real details if you must. And above all, learn how to clear your search history. At twenty, I remember my days of teaching my puberty-stricken body the lessons I thought no one else was learning. Over time I learned the more subtle and more important lessons of what exactly gay culture is. Now a man with a head and social media accounts full of gay indicators, I find myself wondering both what it all means and more importantly, does it even matter?

To the question of whether it matters, the answer is naturally yes and no (and no, that's not my answer because I'm a Gemini). The month of June has the pleasure of being the time of year when the LGBT+ community embraces the hateful rhetoric and indulges in one of the deadly sins. Pride. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, the figures at the head of the gay liberation movement, fought for something larger than themselves and as with the rest of the LGBT+ community, Pride is more than a parade of muscular white men dancing in their underwear. It's a time of reflection, of mourning, of celebration, of course, and most importantly, of hope. Pride is a time to look back at how far we've come and realize that there is still a far way to go.

This year marks fifty years since the Stonewall Riots and the gay liberation movement launched onto the world stage, thus making the learning and embracing of gay culture that much more important. The waves of queer people that come after the AIDS crisis has been given the task of rebuilding and redefining. The AIDS crisis was more than just that. It was Death itself stalking through the community with the help of Regan doing nothing. It was going out with friends and your circle shrinking faster than you can try or even care to replenish. Where do you go after the apocalypse? The LGBT+ community was a world shut off from access by a touch of death and now on the other side, we must weave in as much life as we can.

But we can't freeze and dwell of this forever. It matters because that's where we came from, but it doesn't matter because that's not where we are anymore. We're in a time of rebirth and spring. The LGBT+ community can forge a new identity where the AIDS crisis is not the defining feature, rather a defining feature to be immortalized, mourned, and moved on from.

And to the question of what does it all mean? Well, it means that I'm gay and that I've learned the central lesson that all queer people should learn in middle school. It's called Pride for a reason. We have to shoulder the weight of it all and still hold our head high and we should. Pride is the LGBT+ community turning lemons into lemon squares and limoncello. The lemon squares are funeral cakes meant to mourn and be a familiar reminder of what passed, but the limoncello is the extravagant and intoxicating celebration of what is to come. This year I choose to combine the two and get drunk off funeral cakes. Something tells me that those who came before would've wanted me to celebrate.

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