It's about more than just June, folks.
Happy Pride Month, all!
As many of you know, pride month is upon us, and I thought I'd share some tips for supporting the LGBTQIA+ community beyond just this month, and take a bit of time to delve into the logistics of being a part of this often-misunderstood community. Though in recent years, Pride Month has manifested itself in colorful parades, it means so much more thank rainbows and glitter. As pride month comes to a close, I want to take the opportunity to spread awareness about important messages that this month-long celebration gives us to apply all year long.
First, it doesn't matter if we identify with the LGBTQIA+ community or not; it is our job to be respectful of our fellow community members. This means that while we might not agree with how someone identifies, it is our job to respect their identities by honoring their pronouns.
And perhaps more importantly, we should never out someone. "Outing" someone refers to disclosing an individual's gender or sexuality without the individual already having told their family, friends, and community. This can create significant problems if the individual has family and friends that aren't supportive of their identity. Let the individual decide the right time to disclose their gender identity or sexuality.
Yes, I just used the pronoun "they" to refer to one person. Times are changing.
As I previously discussed in an article earlier this year, my entire life has been a battle with my own gender. But this past year has allowed me to see what a hoax this whole "gender" concept is.
Society puts so much pressure on us to be straight men and women who stick to gender norms to a tee, reinforced from the day we're born: blue for the boy, and pink for the girl. For Halloween, it's unimaginable to think that our little boy would want to dress as a Barbie (news flash: there's nothing wrong with this, it's how our society has created the ideal model of a boy).
Sure, everyone is born anatomically female or male, or the rare few that are born with both secondary sex characteristics, who are known as intersex. However, there is nothing inherently biological at all that gives women traits such as being submissive, liking pink, and wanting to carry a child. Likewise, being born male does not automatically equate to being powerful, strong, or unemotional – men are shown by their elders from a young age not to show emotion.
But genders shouldn't have the connotations they do today. The sooner we get over the concept of living in a perfect world with a Hollywood model husband or wife, the better. These are fantasies put into our heads by the generations before us and the better part of society around us, and though, we have made great progress, the sooner we get over the concept of binary genders with explicit designations in society, the better.
Additionally, I want to make it clear that an individual's outward presentation does not define their gender. Who said men can't wear skirts to school? No one. It is only when we get caught up in gender stereotypes that our own society has created that we become so narrow-minded as to think that someone's physical appearance reflects their gender identity or their sexuality.
Let us take this opportunity of Pride Month to educate ourselves about the LGBTQIA+ community. This community isn't just a bubble; these individuals are all around us, myself included, and are integral members of our own local communities. Be kind, it goes a long way.