HOW CIS GENDERED PEOPLE CAN BE BETTER ALLIES FOR THE LGBTQI+ COMMUNITY
June 1, 2021
Over the years we have seen how the Month of June has been widely celebrated and acknowledged as the month to recognize the LGBTQI+ Community. Even though a lot of work needs to be done, there has been some progress with changes in legislature, better work environments, newly amended bills to support the queer communities across the world. We have seen commitments from brands finally giving platforms and opening spaces to queer folk. However, it’s still important that cis-gendered allies be mindful of how they can show their support for the LGBTQI+ Community without infringing on the many voices that need to be heard. It’s important to note that PRIDE month is not just about changing profile pictures into rainbow flags, but about the continuous fight for equality and basic human decency towards the LGBTQI+ Community. Below we have listed a few points to be mindful of during this PRIDE month and beyond.
1. Create Spaces That Are Inclusive of Queer People: Traditionally media platforms are run by white cis-gendered males who have come to recognize the currency that the Queer community holds. Instead of creating spaces for Queer people on their platforms, they would rather create performative campaigns that are disingenuous and rather harmful to the community. Therefore, it is important to give authentic spaces that will allow Queer folks to take charge and let their voices be heard unfiltered and unapologetic without being compromised by a cis-gendered gaze.
2. Understand It’s Not About You: Even though the LGBTQI+ Community appreciates allyship, it’s important to recognize that this month is not about you. As an ally, you need to remove yourself from the spotlight and use your privilege to protect members of the LGBTQI+ Community. You’re not being excluded from the rallies, the protests, or the festivals, but take a step back and support from the background. Your presence and solidarity with the LGBTQI+ Community are enough and are seen.
3. Learn To Listen: Cis-gendered people don’t know every struggle experienced by Queer people, therefore it is always important to listen before assuming you know everything. Using the blanket approach to fighting for equality is harmful because you fail to see the diversity within the people you claim to be an ally for. Take time to understand people that are individuals, and therefore experience different realities, so all you can start by doing is listening so you know exactly how to support them.
4. Educate People Around You: As an ally, it’s important to educate people/brands about the importance of Pride Month. The LGBTQI+ Community has a long history of fighting for equality and dignity within society. Pride month is to commemorate the Stonewall Riots that took place in 1969, a noted and violent stand against police raids that criminalized LGBTQI+ Communities. The Stonewall Riots triggered civil rights movements for LGBTQI+ Communities that still exist today. It’s important to educate other cis-gendered people who don’t know what PRIDE Month stands for.
5. Show Up Beyond “Pride Month”: Your allyship should extend beyond just the month of June. As an ally, you should be constantly showing up and supporting Queer bodies beyond the month of June. There’s still a lot of violence against Queer bodies that need to be eradicated from society, and it’s important to be a shield at all times when needed.
Get The Latest
Signup for the AFROPUNK newsletter