Pride is not just a party, it is a rallying cry. It is political. It is a place of joy that is born from great fear and pain. If you come to Pride as an ally, it is important to remember its past and current significance.
Read: 11 Ways You Can Celebrate Pride Virtually
Make Sure You are Coming to Learn and Listen
Part of being an ally is remembering that listening and not always interjecting your thoughts is important to be impactful and welcomed. If you haven’t lived a certain experience, do not try to pretend that you know what it's like. It is vital that you come and take in what marginalized communities are experiencing and the ways you can help.
For example, understanding that transgender women of color are some of the most vulnerable people to experiencing everything from homelessness to homicide is important to acknowledge the very real danger communities face and the emotional toll it takes to exist as a member of that community.
In many countries’, LGBTQIA people can still lose their homes, jobs, and face relentless physical and emotional violence all while their landlord, employer, and assailant are legally protected.
These can be hard realities to hear about, but imagine how much harder it is to live them. Coming to Pride means being willing to be vocal in your support for increasing LGBTQIA people’s rights and unpacking your own biases.
Read: Words From a Bisexual on LGBTQ Pride Month
Be an Ally All Year Long
LGBTQIA folks don’t get to take a day off from being queer. We aren’t just gay for a season, we live with both the joys and changes that come with being queer 24/7/365; the same as being an ally means being an active participant in supporting LGBTQIA rights all year long.
If you enjoy the fun of Pride, you also need to be willing and able to take on some of the emotional labor. Campaigns such as “I’ll Go with You” highlight tools for using your privilege to support those who have to physically and emotionally defend themselves every day. Privilege is a currency and you can use it to invest in those who need it the most.
Read: 5 Transgender Issues That Affect Us All
Have Fun and Be Supportive
Pride is a blast, don’t get me wrong, you should have a ton of fun when you are there. We also really need and appreciate allies, who are willing to understand and support us. However, it is just as important that you dig deeper into what being a part of Pride really means.
We have come a million miles from the first pride 51 years ago, but we still face many major obstacles and harsh realities in our daily lives. Because of this, we need allies that are willing to understand our history, listen to our truths, and support us long after the parades are over.
Happy Pride everyone!