As you all know by now June is officially Pride Month and I couldn’t let this month go and not grab the opportunity to express my thoughts about it.
I’ve always been a huge supporter of the queer community and what I’ve realised the past few years is that this community is not just one person or a single group: it’s a whole world of people who are being rejected and attacked for being who they are.
I could be talking for hours about the suppression of these people and their need to feel accepted and loved, but I’m only taking a minute just to highlight the importance of Pride events and express my feelings: Pride is a place where many of these people can feel safe and consoled. It’s the living proof that queer people can be loved for who they are, and that being queer isn’t synonymous with being alone. It’s about giving hope, making people feel visible and creating a sense of belonging for people who may not have it. What makes Pride so special is that it’s both a celebration and a fight; a party and a protest. It’s a celebration for all the rights queer people have managed to acquire until today, and a continuous fight for an entirely free life, where they can be treated with the respect they deserve.
LGBTQ+ Pride celebrations have been taking place all over the world in the past few weeks whilst some major brands got themselves behind the movement. Each year the celebrations are getting bigger and better and I think that 2019 was H-U-G-E. From Ralph Lauren and Levi’s, to Adidas and H&M; a whole army of fashion brands released capsule collections and limited edition products to show their support to this community.
Pride month is a reminder that you could be part of the change, too. There are literally a billion ways in which you could brighten a queer person’s day, or life. I mean, okay, you could wear the loudest rainbow t-shirt that has ever been designed and that would be a sign of support, but you could also confront those that call names, or speak out on their behalf when you need to. Your help is more valuable than you think! Here’s what I think:
- GET INFORMED:
Ignorance is your worst enemy so the first step is always to get informed: open a book, read the news, ask people and find out everything about this community. You can’t support a group of people if you don’t know anything about them; their life, their values and their needs. The results of your research could be a bit surprising, because sometimes, all these people need is someone who is understanding, compassionate and accepting.
- BE LOUD AND PROUD:
Whether you’re straight, bi, gay or trans, you must never be quiet. Just like people in the queer community have to be honest about their identity and their mission in life, straight people have to be just as open, honest and proud about their support. Share that story that made you cry about the gay couple that has been beaten up for no reason, let your queer friend wear that extra glittery shirt if they want to and beproud of them, go to that gay club with your gay best friend, make your support known and encourage other people to also become allies. Trust me, it’s important.
- SPEAK OUT:
It’s been 29 years since homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of the World Health Organization but some people still treat homosexuality as a disease.
When a homophobic joke is on the table, let them know that you don’t appreciate it. You shouldn’t let homophobia just “pass by” because it really is NOT okay. Speak out and break the circle.
The world has bigger problems than boys who kiss boys and girls who kiss girls.
Love is love, so let it be.