Three things to consider as a straight ally during Pride Month
Explore three essential considerations for straight allies during Pride Month in our latest blog.
Pride month is a time for us to reflect on the progress made towards LGBTQ+ equality and to acknowledge those who have fought so hard over the years to achieve this. It is also a time for us to acknowledge that we still have so much more to do.
I’m working with several organisations who are striving for a more inclusive culture – and most celebrate Pride month. As a straight woman, I know I don’t have the lived experience that many others have faced. Like many of us, I am not perfect, and I am trying to educate myself and be more aware. Through our work, I can see that straight allies remain essential in the LGBTQ+ journey towards equality, acceptance and celebration. So, beyond making a rainbow cake, here are three things straight allies should consider when supporting Pride Month…
Understand the true meaning of Pride.
Pride didn't become an annual event just because LGBTQ+ people needed a party or some attention. It's tied to a long history of struggle that shouldn't be ignored - especially by straight participants. It happens in June because, on 28th June 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a bar in the gay area of New York, for the second time in a week. They threw out 200 people and beat some of them. The gay community were angry about the way they were being treated by the police, so chose to fight back. A week of protests and riots were held by people from the gay community who were fed up with being harassed by the authorities. News of the riots spread around the world, and this inspired others to join protests and rights groups to fight for equality.
Pride month is about acceptance, equality, celebrating the work of LGBTQ+ people, education in LGBTQ+ history and raising awareness of issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community. It also calls for people to remember how damaging homophobia was and still can be.
Recognise your privilege.
From our place of privilege, many heterosexual people have never really had to be concerned for their safety if they're holding hands with their partner in public or how they are presenting their gender. It's important to be mindful of that privilege. It was only ten years ago that it would have been illegal for a gay person to marry the person they loved. And it was only in 2020, that it became legal in Northern Ireland.
Be an ally (consistently).
Joining in the celebration means joining in the struggle - and that doesn't just happen on a single day or month. Pride events are about human rights, empowering LGBTQ+ individuals to reclaim the rights and freedoms they are denied, and the public space they often feel excluded from. An ally should be an ally that shows up for the community every day – it’s a daily call to action.