It’s finally Pride Month and the world is celebrating by being an ally. That being said, we also celebrate our community’s straight friends, who recognize our cause and fight and stand by our side. While allies are ofcourse, not the centre of attention within the LGBTQ+ community, they hold some of the greatest power.
Here are some ways you can become a better Ally for the LGBTQ+ community:
You must understand that calling yourself an Ally is the start, but nowhere close to the end:
The best part about being an ally is that you don’t need to sign up somewhere or register yourself to prove you are one. Just waking up one day and believing that you shall help the LGBTQ+ community in any way you can. But, you mustn’t stop yourself at just telling people you are an ally.
When you take up the role of being an ally, you must be able to stand up for the community. That means getting familiar with terms, knowing the struggles and obstacles that we face, listen to the stories of people. Include yourselves in our fights.
Recognize the privilege you have:
As a straight person, you may often undermine your privilege. But the LGBTQ+ community faces struggles every day just because they aren’t you. You have the strongest voice within our community as there are higher chances that your voice is heard. You can speak to your straight peers and change their mindsets. Explain to them the importance of accepting that around and that love is love, gender should have nothing to do with it.
People do not tend to listen or even give the LGBTQ+ a chance to be heard, you can singlehandedly change this. Singlehandedly change the course of the community one person at a time.
Acknowledge your power.
But do not make this about you. Never speak over the people you speak for:
We cannot stress this enough, this isn’t about you. You are perfectly normal and fit into the norms. This fight is so that we can live in an equal world. Where we walk the streets feeling as normal and accepted as you are.
Always remember, the hatred and the violence we have faced can NEVER be undermined. You are an ally, meant to support us, don’t talk over us and our fight. Stand with us, hold our hands and march with us, but don’t you dare lead.
It can be very rude or perhaps too harsh a truth, but there is no reason for Straight Pride to have a march, there is no reason why we must have a straight month nor why we should bow our heads to the straights. We appreciate you and your sexuality, we know that you are not different and that’s okay. But that doesn’t mean you can make this about you.
Listening is your greatest strength:
We can’t stress this enough. Sometimes our community just needs someone to listen. We understand that you may not have a complete idea about the do’s and dont’s and that’s why we’re always there to help. Just ask. Listening to us, giving us a shoulder and just being an overall strength is all we need. We don’t need the advice nor the pity, just the strength, to keep fighting.
Say it with your whole chest or don’t say it at all.
When you take up the role to be an ally, we expect you to do it wholly. Pride has, as of recently, become a commercialized event. People sell LGBTQ+ flags and products and logos are rainbow coloured. It’s great, we appreciate the effort. All until there is a useless drawback.
For example, MEGA Magazine recently held the Equality Ball, a new iteration of their annual June events. The event honoured the LGBTQ+ community and their organizations like Metro Manila Pride and queer establishments like O Bar.
MEGA, however, was soon called out for some horrible marketing schemes, including their promotional posts with influencers and personalities who were not necessarily aligned with the community.
What we mean to say is, we really, truly, deeply embrace the support we receive from the allies, but being a bit better comes to no harm. Allyship can have an immense impact on the world outside the LGBTQIA+ community. All we’re asking is for you to make the impact we need.