Stop Going To Pride If You Aren't LGBTQ+

If You're Not LGBTQ+, Stop Going To Pride Just To Say You Went

It's not some place where you can go just to post on social media about how you went to Pride.

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It's Pride Month, which means it's time for our LGBTQ+ friends to celebrate themselves.

Pride is an annual, month-long celebration that entails rainbows, parades and parties across the globe. June is the perfect occasion for anyone in the LGBTQ+ community to share why they're proud to be a part of it and to thank the activists who came before them, the ones who paved the way for gay marriage and gender-neutral bathrooms.

I am all about the celebration of a marginalized group and those who have fought to make sure those voices have a space to be heard in this world, however, I think some people have gotten to a point where they are using Pride as an excuse to party and get decked out in rainbows.

Pride is not for cisgender heterosexuals who identify as "allies" just so they can say they went.

Pride is for the genderqueer.

Pride is for the homosexual.

Pride is for the asexual.

Pride is for the pansexual.

Pride is for the transgender.

Pride is for the non-binary.

Pride is for the bisexual.

Pride is for so many people, but it is not for allies.

The only time, in my opinion, an ally should go to Pride is when they are there to support a friend, significant other or family member who is participating in Pride. Sometimes it is scary to go to a large event like that for the first time where you don't have any familiar faces. Sometimes you need moral support, and if the only people you have to give you that are allies, I believe they should be welcomed.

But allies or cisgender heterosexuals should be going to Pride in swarms.

Pride is a sacred place for members of the LGBTQ+ community, and tainting it with our heteronormative allies is only further emphasizing why we need Pride at all. Let the LGBTQ+ community have Pride to themselves. Let them make it their own. We have marginalized them enough. We should not marginalize them in a space that they themselves created.

Just once, let them lead the way, and if they want you to follow and join in, then go for it. Until then, be happy with just watching.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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7 More Jams By LGBTQ+ Artists to Add To Your Pride Month Playlist

These are the best underrated pride songs.

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It's that time of the year again!

Pride Month is in full swing, so I thought I would do a part two to an article I wrote for last year's Pride Month.

Whether specifically about being LGBTQ+ or just by LGBTQ+ artists, here are some great additions to your pride playlist!

1. "Rainbow" by dodie

This song perfectly highlights the reason why pride parades and Pride Month exist in the first place.

In a world where anyone who is not straight/cisgender is constantly being told that their feelings are wrong, it's good to have a month to be told that you are a rainbow. It can make all the difference to someone struggling with their identity.

2. "Make Me Feel" by Janelle Monáe

Some people don't know that this song is actually about Janelle Monáe's pansexuality. And what better way to come out to your fans than creating such a bop?

3. "GUY.exe" by Superfruit

Superfruit (a musical duo featuring Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying from Pentatonix) love to specialize in very outwardly gay music, which is so refreshing in a musical landscape where a lot of artists try to be more subtle in its LGBT themes.

Plus the lyrics and music video are both hilariously relatable for almost every orientation.

4. "Girls/Girls/Boys" by Panic! at the Disco

Brendan Urie recently came out as pansexual himself, making his words "Girls love girls and boys and love is not a choice" even more meaningful.

5. "The Joke" by Brandi Carlile

This Grammy award-winning song is the perfect anthem for anyone who has ever been put down about something that makes them different.

It's the perfect song for people going through a hard time to really latch onto and get strength from. I can't recommend it enough.

6. "Rendezvous" by Miss Benny

We love a gender nonconforming bop! Miss Benny really knows how to get people jamming while examining their preconceived notions on masculinity. What a queen.

7. "Older" by Ben Platt

Though not explicitly about being gay, the line "get to fall in love with another man" was the first time Ben Platt confirmed his sexuality to his fans. So this coming out moment hidden in a motivational song just makes the song all the more uplifting.

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