The month of June encompasses many important events culturally and beyond. One of the most important celebrations during this month is Pride. This nationwide celebration originated with the Stonewall Uprising in 1969. NYC police frequently raided gay bars in the west village but during this particular raid, patrons fought back and led to a turning point in history. This location of the uprising, The Stonewall Inn, was declared a historic landmark in 2015 and the month of June 2021 commemorates the 51st anniversary of the first Pride parade which began in 1970. The celebration of Pride month each year provides an opportunity for individuals to learn more about the LGBTQIA+ community while also celebrating the progress made and strides toward equality. What do you feel like you need to learn more about related to pride month? Here are a few key things to know.
- Educate yourself
It is so important to gain an understanding of a topic before forming an opinion. This allows you to clearly see and understand factual information before deciding your stance on an issue. Soliciting those around you who are a part of this community is also helpful to gain understanding of their particular experience. Did you know that each color of the pride flag has a meaning? Did you know that there are multiple flags that represent different LGBTQIA+ identities? Take a look at the infographic below, choose a flag that you want to learn more about and begin to explore details related to that identity.
- Understand the importance of language
When you see the letters LGBTQIA+, what first comes to mind? Within this community, there are various identities an pronouns to consider when speaking to individuals. It is important to know how an individual identifies themselves and how they would like to be addressed. Keep in mind that it is helpful and sometimes necessary to ask questions. Think about it this way, when people address you and state your name wrong repeatedly or even address you as something different than what you desire, you may feel disrespected. Individuals that are a part of these various communities feel the same way about pronouns and identity markers. Listed in the photo below are a few key pronouns that are important to know.
- Be a good listener and practice acceptance
It is difficult to hear if you’re speaking. Learning and embracing the art of listening is a game changer in all relationships, but particularly in those where you are trying to learn new things. Supporting your friends and family that identify as LGBTQIA+ by accepting them as who they are and being open to hearing and understanding their experience is truly important to developing a stronger relationship with them. Ask your friends questions that you want to know and develop a deeper awareness of their needs. Acceptance and listening are important first steps in support.
- Donate your time (or your money if you feel led)
There are many organizations that need the help of community members that believe in their cause in order to thrive. Being an ally looks different for everyone but the overarching goal is getting active. It’s one thing to verbally state you support a cause and another thing to actually participate in the initiatives that help them progress. Find unique ways to celebrate your friends and who they are.
Here are a few organizations you can look into for ways you can support: The Trevor Project, The National Center for Trans equality, The National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network.
Lets celebrate this month by honoring everyones individuality and identity!
Take a look at the infographic below for a deeper understanding:
Alexis Long-Daniels, MA, ALC, NCC