We want to share what Pride Month is, why it's incredibly important, and how you can be a great ally.
In June 1969, New York police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City. Following these raids, there was an uprise in the LGBTQIA+ community, sparking a wave of activism. The 6 days of activism marked a turning point in the LGBTQIA+ rights movement in the United States and year later, the first Pride march occurred.
Pride began as a day in June to commemorate the riots; quickly, the event grew to a month-long series of events. Today, Pride Month encompasses events and celebrations that attract millions of participants globally. Pride Month commemorates the courage and resilience of those who fought for LGBTQIA+ rights and recognises the impact that LGBTQIA+ individuals have had on history. Pride Month shines a spotlight on the remarkable journeys, obstacles, and achievements of LGBTQIA+ individuals. It is a period of embracing, celebrating, having open conversations and sharing personal stories that dismantle stereotypes and encourage learning and acceptance. Pride Month is important for LGBTQIA+ communities as it highlights their unique experiences, challenges and accomplishments.
This time of acceptance and understanding works to increase social understanding of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, helping dispel stereotypes, and promoting understanding and support.
Recently, however, Pride Month events and celebrations have been significantly impacted by a small group of loud individuals who typically take to social media to express negative feelings towards the LGBTQIA+ community because, quite frankly, they don't understand.
An ally supports, encourages and stands up for the people around them; it is a term often used for someone who advocates for a marginalised group of people. If you hear or see things you disagree with, here are some tips on being a great ally:
To be a great ally, you support equal rights for everyone, regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender or religion; you do what you can to call out discrimination against these groups; you want to champion equity and equality.
You can learn to be a great ally by speaking to people who identify as LGBTQIA+, respecting people's preferred pronouns, reading books, listening to podcasts and supporting businesses run by people from the community.
In addition, you can attend rallies and events, call out homophobia, transphobia or queerphobia wherever you see or hear it and be there for community members if and when they need you.
If you identify as, are questioning or are interested in learning about trans and gender diversity and/or sexuality, join the community to discuss all things LGBTQIA+ at qheadspace: https://headspace.org.au/our-impact/campaigns/lgbtiqaplus/