All across the country during the month of June, people will be celebrating Pride Month as a means of recognizing the impact the LGBTQ community has had on our country and on the world. June is unofficially recognized as National Pride Month by the LGBTQ community as a way of commemorating the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion in New York City on June 28, 1969, which most historians consider to be the birth of the modern LGBTQ movement.
Even if you aren’t a member of the LGBTQ community, you still have the opportunity to celebrate and support the LGBTQ community, as an ally. If you aren’t sure how to support the LGBTQ community, I’ve listed five ways to help you get started.
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s one that many people often don’t do! Do your research online to learn more about the history of the LGBTQ community. There are numerous resources available online to educate yourself on your own misconceptions and assumptions. Having an understanding of the history of the community alone can be a big step in offering authentic support to the LGBTQ community.
Support LGBTQ Youth
Results from the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey show that, nationwide, more U.S. high school students who self-identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) report having been bullied on school property (33%) and cyberbullied (27.1%) in the past year, than their heterosexual peers (17.1% and 13.3%, respectively). In order to combat these statistics and prevent them from being ongoing ones, it’s important to show your support and be open to listening and learning from LGBTQ youth about their experiences. Let it be known that you are openly supportive of the LGBTQ community, but also keep in mind that it’s important to respect their privacy as well.
Be An Advocate In Your Workplace
Does your workplace have anti-discrimination policies and procedures in place to help protect LGBTQ workers? Maybe you don’t know, but here’s another opportunity to support the LGBTQ community. By advocating for a more inclusive workplace, you’ll be supporting not only those in the LGBT community that you work with, but you’ll be supporting future employees of that workplace as well! Be aware of microaggressions and call them out if possible.
Help to Establish a Safe Space In Your Community
What is a safe space? It’s a welcoming, safe environment for members of the LGBTQ community. Offering a safe space in your community can make a huge impact for not only the LGBTQ community but other allies of the community, too. Encourage those establishing the safe space to offer resources to educate community leaders and especially school teachers and administrators on how to combat anti-LGBTQ behaviors.
Donate To (Or Get Involved With) Organizations Making An Impact
There are organizations all over the country working day-in and day-out to support the LGBTQ community and make a difference in the lives of many. If you have the financial means to donate, by all means, do so, but not before you do your own research on the organizations you plan to donate to. If you don’t have the financial means, you can still offer valuable assistance by offering to volunteer with different organizations. Again, always, always, do your research before agreeing to support any organization.
You can get started by volunteering this coming weekend for Pittsburgh Pride. For information on volunteering and Pittsburgh Pride Events visit https://www.pittsburghpride.org/