As we sink into June, let’s take some time to acknowledge that it’s Pride month! I learn more everyday in this brave 2SLGBTQIA+ space, but what I know for sure is that Pride Month is a whole lot more than just a flag and a parade.
It is a movement that celebrates and recognizes sexual diversity for those who identify with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Pride month gives individuals an opportunity to peacefully protest and raise political awareness of current issues facing the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, improves attitudes of society, and encourage inclusiveness.
A high priority for me, on this learning journey of mine, was confirming what all the letters mean. They are an acronym for two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual, while + stands for other ways individuals express their gender and sexuality outside heteronormativity and the gender binary.
As a privileged, white, straight, able bodied woman who uses the pronouns she/her, my only job in this world is to listen, learn, and seek to understand from those who don’t look like me, sound like me, or live like me. Last week during one of our usual Live morning coffees, a wise soul commented with words that I loved. They said:
“Don’t feel guilty about your privilege, use it as a superpower.”
I plan to use that superpower to create a safe space to land for everyone – regardless of race, religion, identity, or socioeconomic status. A place where we welcome the hard conversations, raise voices and share stories, exposing ourselves and this community to new things. Representation matters. When you see yourself in other people, when you’re acknowledged, you will rise.
If you are privileged: white, straight, able-bodied – it is our job to do the work to learn, understand, and celebrate the importance of Pride month. So what can we do, as a community, to show support and stand with the community?
- Educate yourself and seek first to understand.
It is not the job of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community to teach us! It is okay to question, to get things wrong, to listen and learn – that’s what it’s all about. Below are a few links to help you on this journey:
- Take a back seat and listen.
Our job is to hold space, acknowledge, raise voices and share stories. Pride is about celebrating and empowering, not taking away from it.
- Introduce yourself with pronouns.
You shouldn’t assume someone’s gender, sexuality or pronouns as it can be harmful and reinforce stereotypes. Rather, try introducing yourself with your pronouns which might make space for them to respond with theirs, normalizing the practice of not assuming identity.
Our goal as a community is to not make assumptions, but rather learn more about what it means to not be “the norm”. This isn’t a place to tell anyone that they’re wrong, it’s a place to hold space for different ideas and opinions. You don’t have to condone, believe, or support an idea that doesn’t fit for you; however, it’s not a place where we shame people for not knowing things, it’s a safe space to be vulnerable enough to admit when we don’t know, and learn together.
The only thing we need to walk eachother home in this process is just to slow down long enough to notice and not look away.