Pride Month: History, Resources, and Tips to Being an Ally
Pride Month is celebrated in June to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, which took place on June 28th, 1969, in New York City. Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in New York City, was raided by police resulting in a riot between citizens and police officers. Gay clubs, like Stonewall Inn, were intended to be a place where those of the LGBT community could feel comfortable being themselves. Instead, the constant raids, particularly the one on June 28th, 1969, sparked six days’ worth of protests (History.com). These riots were a strong force for LGBT political activism and “most historians consider to be the birth of the modern LGBT movement (“Pride Month Resource”).”
Today, Pride Month is a time for community members to get together to show their support and love for those in the LGBTQIA+ community. June is a month to highlight the LGBTQIA+ support continuously growing and acknowledge the setbacks that community members have faced during the years. This month is a time every year to continue learning, growing, accepting, and showing your support to your friends, neighbors, family members, etc. Additionally, Pride Month is when the members of the LGBTQIA+ community can attend events, parades, shows, and so much more to show how proud they are to express themselves fully. It is a month filled with beautiful people, love, and laughter.
If you are wondering how to be a respectful ally this year, then check out the tips below:
EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT THE LGBTQIA + COMMUNITY
Do not rely on the people of this community to teach and answer every single question you may have. Instead, do some research on your own time. Here are such great resources if you want to learn more about the history of Pride, the LGBTQIA+ community in the media, the meaning of LGBTQIA+ abbreviations, and the commonly used pronouns.
TAKE A BACK SEAT
Taking a back seat lets those who are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community be at the front of the events occurring during Pride Month. Allow them to have the floor/spotlight to share their own stories.
BRING FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO PRIDE EVENTS
It is highly encouraged to attend an event during Pride to show your support and learn from others. If you attend Pride events regularly, ask your friends and family members to join you this year. It is great to bring them into a situation where they are comfortable knowing you are with them, but it also allows them to experience the event firsthand.
DONATE TO LGBTQIA+ ORGANIZATIONS
Donating is a great way to show support to members of this community. Please remember to do your research about the organization you wish to support first, as they may need financial support, product donations, or volunteers for their next event. Some great organizations to check out include: Center for Black Equity, Trans Lifeline, The Trevor Project, It Gets Better Project and so many other organizations.
QUIT MAKING ASSUMPTIONS
Do not make assumptions about your friends, family members, co-workers, or someone you see in your day-to-day life. You never know their gender or sexuality for sure unless they tell you. If you can learn to let go of the mindset that everyone you meet is straight and cisgender, then you are one step closer to being a better ally. Also, don’t assume that someone else’s story is yours to tell. Let others explain their own journeys.
ANNOUNCE YOUR PRONOUNS
When meeting someone for the first time or during a conversation, try to mention your name and pronouns. If this is a little too awkward at first, then try adding your pronouns to the bio of your social media pages. You can also promote work inclusion by having your pronouns in your work email signature. To learn more information about pronouns, check out this Guide to using Preferred Gender Pronouns.
What did you learn about Pride Month that you never knew before? Let us know in the comments!
According to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, “LGBQ young people are more than twice as likely to feel suicidal, and over four times as likely to attempt suicide, compared to heterosexual youth (Kann 2016); the rates may be especially high for bisexual teens (Marshal 2011). According to one study, a third of transgender youth have seriously considered suicide, and one in five has made a suicide attempt (Reisner 2015). “ Call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1.800.273.TALK ) for support and assistance 24/7. This number is for anyone feeling depressed, overwhelmed, or suicidal.
History.com Editors. “Stonewall Riots.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 31 May 2017, https://www.history.com/topics/gay-rights/the-stonewall-riots
Kann, L., O’Malley Olsen, E., McManus, T., Harris, W. A., Shanklin, S. L., Flint, K. H., . . . Zaza, S. (2016). Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contacts, and Health-Related Behaviors Among Students in Grades 9–12 — United States and Selected Sites, 2015. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/ss/ss60e0606.pdf
Marshal, M. P., Dietz, L. J., Friedman, M. S., Stall, R., Smith, H. A., McGinley, J., . . . Brent, D. A. (2011). Suicidality and depression disparities between sexual minority and heterosexual youth: a meta-analytic review. J Adolesc Health, 49(2), 115-123. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.02.005
“Pride Month Resource Kit for Journalists.” GLAAD, 12 Jan. 2017, www.glaad.org/publications/pridekit