June is pride month! As a proud ally, you’ll want to support your LGBTQIA+ family, friends, and colleagues. But how exactly do you do that? Let’s look at some simple ways to share the pride.
One of the best ways to be an ally is to model inclusive behavior. A simple way to do this is to share your preferred pronouns (e.g., she/her, they/them, he/him, etc.) whenever you get the chance. Perhaps this is on social media or on a nametag cubicle nameplate. When you introduce yourself to new people, share your pronouns. It was only a few years ago that this was a new concept for many of us. The more we practice this, the more we normalize this behavior and help to ensure that individuals are respected by being referred to with their own pronouns, not someone else’s idea of what those pronouns should be.
Does your company have affinity groups? If so, find out what the LGBTQIA+ group is up to for pride month and see how you can help. Chances are they’ll welcome another volunteer, whether it’s to help pass out flyers for upcoming events, assist with encouraging people to attend a local pride parade, or helping to be a visible ally by identifying yourself as such with a rainbow flag, ally pin, or other fun and supportive options.
Your company doesn’t have affinity groups? If you know LGBTQIA+ employees, politely ask what you can do to be a supportive ally during pride month (and all year long). If the intent is genuine, you’ll probably be well received. Who knows? You could become a force for positive change within your corporate culture.
June is a great month for finding books, documentaries, and articles about LGBTQIA+ history and culture. Put on a comfy pair of women’s shorts and your favorite women’s T-shirt, grab a cold drink, and settle in for a good read. Why not invite a friend over to watch an exciting film or suggest that your book group read a selection for pride month?
LGBTQIA+ history has often been hidden because the LGBTQIA+ community members had (or still have) reason to fear retaliation. This could be an eye-opening exercise for you. Many of our famous writers, artists, scientists, and politicians throughout history were LGBTQIA+. The more out and proud you are as an ally, the more comfortable LGBTQIA+ individuals within your family, circle of friends, and a group of colleagues are likely to feel safe simply being themselves around you.
The more you learn about LGBTQIA+ organizations in your community, the more you are likely to find like-minded people who want to help abolish stigmas and treat everyone with dignity and respect. If you have some spare time and want to contribute to your community, do a little research about what groups are out there. Non-profit groups are the unsung heroes in our society. Chances are there are some cool people near you who are helping your neighbors, and you can join them in simple yet important ways.
Whenever you choose to support a charity, make sure to find out their views toward the LGBTQIA+ community. There are many seemingly good causes out there that not only support but even further homophobic views (and they have the most benign-sounding names). Before you click to donate or put that cash into a collection box, make sure that you understand precisely where it is going and what types of programs it will support. With a bit of research, you can find truly good causes with which to share your hard-earned dollars that are homophobia-free.
Okay, this is the super fun one! You don’t have to be gay to go to a pride parade! Grab your favorite women’s activewear and maybe your backpack while you’re at it (sunscreen and water bottles are important) and make a day of it.
Show off your support by going with a group of family, friends, a workgroup, or a community group. If you don’t know anyone who is going, check around on social media, and you can probably find a fun group near you. Talk to your neighbors, mention it at your workplace, and ask around at volunteer groups. Fly a rainbow flag, wear your most fun bright colors, carry a handmade sign, and get out there. Pride clothing is fun, fashionable, and helps to send the message that you are an ally.
Be an out and proud ally this pride month!