The LGBTQIA+ rights movement can be traced way back to at least 1924 when Henry Gerber founded the Society of Human Rights in Chicago. However, the celebration of Pride Month in June was inspired by the later event called the “Stonewall Riots” on June 28, 1969, when the police raided Stonewall Inn, a popular gathering place for young members of the LGBT community, although the annual celebration was officially recognized only by US President Bill Clinton in 1999.
Fifty-three years later, the world has changed but the movement continues to live on as the community continues to struggle for acceptance and recognition of their rights in different corners of the world. This is despite some countries already starting to embrace and implement policies such as the legalization of same-sex marriage. Along with the government and other institutions, people from different walks of life continue to show support for the movement regardless of their gender identity and sexual orientation. They are called ALLIES. To be more specific, an ally is a person who genuinely and strongly supports the LGBT community and are advocates for equal rights and fair treatment.
But what does it take to be called an ALLY? What should you know and do if you want to become an ally? Worry not! As we list down the ways to become an ally for the LGBTQIA+ Community and their movement.
Learn, listen, and educate yourself
Becoming an ally for the LGBTQIA+ community is not only shown by vocally expressing your support. This also means that you will have to know the whats, whys, and hows of the movement. To be able to fully support their cause, you must learn the struggle’s history, listen to the different stories of your friends from the community, and educate yourself on what the movement and the community is all about.
Familiarize the language
LGBT Terminologies such as the use of pronouns and gender-neutral terms are also important for you to know. This is to show respect and sensitivity to the members of the community. If you meet new people and you are unsure of someone’s pronoun, you may ask them respectfully. Also keep an eye on any “unintentionally offensive” language you may use every day.
Get involved and show your support
Sharing pro-LGBT contents in your social media accounts is one thing to show your support but it will all become more meaningful if you also “walk your talk”. Engaging with the community and letting them feel your presence in their events, such as the Pride March, will significantly show your solidarity with them. There’s no better teacher than experience.
It can be awkward, and you probably would want to keep your peace with people, but discrimination will not stop if you let everyone pass when they say something offensive. Remember that this struggle is for everyone to be treated as equal regardless of gender and sexuality so, if you see or hear anyone saying or acting offensive towards another person, do not just sit back but call them out and discuss why they were wrong. This does not just help the movement but also educates more people around you.
Come out as an Ally
Letting the public know that you’re an ally will surely make the world a better and safer place for the community. As the LGBT motto says, “Be Loud and Proud!” A simple way to show your support will already go a long way. You may also join an LGBT group or organization, too.
Now that you’ve learned the ways, let us celebrate the colorful world of pride! Let us know your stories in the comments.
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