Pride month (or LGBT History Month) is a month-long event which happens once a year in June. It is a month of appreciation and education of LGBT+ community and their history.
The Stonewall riots in New York pushed the fight for LGBT+ rights. And since then, the conversation and celebration surrounding those who identify as LGBT+ has been sparked. It was an impactful moment in history.
During Pride month, many people take the time to educate themselves or seek out means to support the LGBT+ community. This can be from watching LGBT+ films, listening to music by LGBT+ artists, supporting small businesses or donating to charities.
However, like with other annual awareness months, such as Black History Month or Disability Awareness Month, support and education should continue both before and after the months are over.
The term 'ally' is a very broad term and can have different meanings, interpretations and ways to be an ally. However to continue being a good ally, it is important to always support minorities and educate/challenge ourselves.
I'm sure many people here will be aware that during Pride Month, many companies believe they are being good allies by simply changing their usual logo to a rainbow logo for the month. This can be hypocritical and performative due to the fact many of these companies do not actively support the LGBT+ community. For example, they do not support LGBT+ employees or financially support anti-LGBTQ+ causes etc.
It is important that people do not fall into similar habits. Of course we cannot control what companies do and don't do, although we can absolutely hold them accountable for their hypocrisy, however it is important that we do more than simply share a Pride post.
Some thoughts/steps to take can be asking yourself:
– What steps am I taking in ensuring my LGBT+ friends, family or colleagues (etc) are comfortable with me?
– Am I aware of the issues and discrimination LGBT+ community face? If someone I know has been discriminated against by others, what am I doing to support them?
– Have I taken the time to educate myself and delve into my bias and how this could come out through other means? (e.g unconscious actions and sayings)
As mentioned above, it is important to continuously provide support to the LGBT+ community and not just in a single month. The LGBT+ community are still fighting for their rights. More recently, in fighting for the ban on conversion therapy. Unfortunately with the ban at the moment, transgender people are not included. The fight continues and this community always needs you fighting beside them.
To close off this article, I would like to take the time to appreciate the BAME LGBT+ community
BAME LGBT+, in particular Black LGBT+ people have played a massive role in advocating and fighting for LGBT+ rights. Unfortunately even in the present day, they are forgotten or overlooked. In your support, in your appreciation, in your education, please ensure to remember LGBT+ ethnic minorities.
Below I have attatched some links a link which highlights a handful of Black LGBT+ figures.
BAME Change and Awareness Officer (Community Cohesion)