I Owe Pride Month My Effort

I Owe Pride Month My Effort

Equality is everyone's issue.

Pride Month is fiercely important. It requires us to direct attention to the LGBTQIA+ community, a community that deserves attention and action at all times, but so sparingly receives it. Annual parades, marches, and protests allow for a celebration of people, for increased visibility, and for recognition of a history often untold.

For anyone who isn’t part of the community by identity, this month is easy to become detached from. I can say it quite honestly: until high school, I hardly knew that Pride Month existed. I did not know that identifying as anything other than straight was as socially or politically stigmatized as it continues to be.

According to a 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center, "About four-in-ten (39%) say that at some point in their lives they were rejected by a family member or close friend because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.” When I was 15, my cousin came out to me. Thus far, only myself and one other family know.

I don’t have a voice for the LGBTQIA+ community that is genuinely validated because I do not know the experience of being in it. I cannot speak on their behalf. I do not have to worry about trusting a cousin who, past midnight, might reveal herself to be open to the idea of love that does not involve marrying a man and having his children. I do not have to worry about being rejected by a family member or close friend, rejecting me because of my sexual orientation or gender identity.

American law has taught me that being straight grants a privilege that others do not enjoy. Just two years past the success of making same-sex marriage a national law, the protections provided to transgender students were rescinded. This month commemorates the Stonewall Riots of 1969, riots for equality that have yet to fully succeed in their aim. Though I may not understand the experience of living as part of that community, it is human to understand that the absence of rights and acceptance experienced by a cousin, friend, or citizen is unjust.

I am not part of the LGBTQIA+ acronym, but as someone on the sidelines, it is very much my job to use my privilege for the benefit of the community. It is my job to educate others, to demonstrate acceptance, and to promote safety. Pride Month is not about me, but it demands my action. It is a chance for me and people like me to show solidarity, support, and strength. This isn’t to say that that effort ends with June. The ability to do this is a permanent one, and this month simply provides a much needed spotlight.

Happy Pride!

Volunteer opportunities can be found with The Ali Forney Center, Hetrick Martin Institute, SAGE, Brooklyn Community Pride Center, and LGBT Community Center.

Cover Image Credit: rihaij / Pixabay

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37 Things Growing Up in the South Taught You

Where the tea is sweet, but the people are sweeter.

1. The art of small talking.
2. The importance of calling your momma.
3. The beauty of sweet tea.
4. How to use the term “ma'am” or “sir” (that is, use it as much as possible).
5. Real flowers are way better than fake flowers.
6. Sometimes you only have two seasons instead of four.
7. Fried chicken is the best kind of chicken.
8. When it comes to food, always go for seconds.
9. It is better to overdress for Church than underdress.
10. Word travels fast.
11. Lake days are better than beach days.
12. Handwritten letters never go out of style.
13. If a man doesn’t open the door for you on the first date, dump him.
14. If a man won’t meet your family after four dates, dump him.
15. If your family doesn’t like your boyfriend, dump him.
16. Your occupation doesn’t matter as long as you're happy.
17. But you should always make sure you can support your family.
18. Rocking chairs are by far the best kind of chairs.
19. Cracker Barrel is more than a restaurant, it's a lifestyle.
20. Just 'cause you are from Florida and it is in the south does not make you Southern.
21. High School football is a big deal.
22. If you have a hair dresser for more than three years, never change. Trust her and only her.
23. The kids in your Sunday school class in third grade are also in your graduating class.
24. Makeup doesn’t work in the summer.
25. Laying out is a hobby.
26. Moms get more into high school drama than high schoolers.
27. Sororities are a family affair.
28. You never know how many adults you know 'til its time to get recommendation letters for rush.
29. SEC is the best, no question.
30. You can't go wrong buying a girl Kendra Scotts.
31. People will refer to you by your last name.
32. Biscuits and gravy are bae.
33. Sadie Robertson is a role model.
34. If it is game day you should be dressed nice.
35. If you pass by a child's lemonade stand you better buy lemonade from her. You're supporting capitalism.
36. You are never too old to go home for just a weekend… or just a meal.
37. You can’t imagine living anywhere but the South.

Cover Image Credit: Grace Valentine

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11 Ways College Would Be Different If I Was A Girl

I'd get more comments about my appearance but I'm ready to face it.


As a guy, I don't have the same pressures that a lot of girls face where they're basically led to believe that they have to be this body type, have this size bust and butt. To be realistic, it's a lot to ask of a girl to try to meet those standards. Not only that, they go through things that, as a guy, I won't fully understand, no matter how many questions I ask for the sake of understanding and accepting.

So, what if I was a girl? Here are 11 things that would be different.

1. I'd have a different wardrobe

Truth be told, guys and girls dress very differently in some cases, especially with regard to casual and even semi-formal and formal attire. I'd have a lot more of those elegant tops, and skinny jeans / skinny khakis instead of T-shirts, and I'd definitely own my fair share of dresses.

2. I would be approached by guys instead

I'm used to the idea of making the first move as a guy when I feel confident enough to do it, but I wouldn't be doing that as much if I was a girl. I don't disapprove of the idea of girls making the first move, but if I was a girl, guys would be approaching me more often than me approaching them.

3. I'd want to wear high heels more often

I'm one of those males who has an obsession with heels because I'd say they're a confidence booster and because they're a thing of beauty. If I was a girl, I'd be all about them. What girl wouldn't want to strut it and feel confident in herself?

4. I'd spend more money

When I got into my later times of college and into graduate school, I took appearance a bit more seriously, and a lot of girls do that for sure. If I was a girl, I'd want to be looking my best as much as possible, so it would take a spending on make-up and beauty products to make that happen.

5. I'd get catcalled and wolf-whistled more often

If I dressed up to go out for a night on the town as a girl who is on a GNO, some people will whistle and catcall at me to try to get my attention. It's already too uncomfortable for most girls to deal with that and if I was a girl, I'd probably be as well.

6. I'd have a big support system

If I was a girl, I'd have my best friends and family to talk to and cry to, and there are very few things that are better than that.

7. I'd face a lot more dress code restrictions

If I was a girl who is in grade school, middle school, or high school, I'd probably get a lot of flack and be told to change into different clothes if I had clothes that were too short or too revealing. It's not fair.

8. I'd be considered "tall"

My listed height is between 5'7" and 5'8", and I would feel a bit more confident if I really were 'tall'.

9. I'd get free first dates every now and then

In most cases, the man pays for the first date, and I don't mind paying for a first date as a man, but if I was a girl, I'd happily accept a dinner date knowing that he'd pay for it. Of course, I'd still be prepared for other things to happen, but being treated well is always a great feeling.

10. I'd probably say "It's fine" more often when I don't really mean it

As a guy, I know that's not what a girl really means when she says it. But it's fine.

11. I'd be the one a special man gets down on one knee for

If I were a girl, I'd be hard pressed to turn him down when he pops the question.

Of course, these are just 11 of the many things that would be different for me if I was a girl instead of a guy, but I find that all of these are relatable. I obviously didn't mention everything here, including some obvious ones, since I am not educated enough to write about them. But from a personal standpoint, these 11 things would be surefire differences.

Cover Image Credit:

amsterdamize / Flickr

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