With Pride month officially ending, some companies will box away their rainbow flags and press pause on the 'pink washing' (selling diversity without actually doing the legwork) for another year.
An ally is someone who stands in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community by taking action, showing support and advocating for those who are marginalised.
There is no one set 'rulebook' to being an ally, but there are some simple ways you can do to continue your show of support post Pride month.
Pride is much more than rainbow flags and fun
While Pride month is certainly a place for celebrations, it's important to understand its origin as a protest and political struggle – it was actually more of a riot.
In 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a safe space for New York's LGBTQ+ community. While it wasn't uncommon for police raids, the community decided to fight back; this sparked a new wave of resistance. Two trans women of colour, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, were rumoured to have resisted arrest and thrown the first bottles at the police.
The rainbow flag has since become synonymous with celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. It's often seen at Pride parades, festivals and in the homes of thousands.
The first Pride flag was flown on 25 June 1978 during the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day parade, according to Britannica. Activist Gilbert Baker and a team of volunteers made the flags by hand and hoped to have them mass-produced. However, the pink and turquoise stripes were removed due to production issues, and indigo was replaced by blue.
Normalise asking pronouns and stating your own. Not only is it respectful, but it leads to the destigmatisation of those who do not use "traditional" pronouns.
It's also worth noting not to assume someone’s pronouns based on gender expression. If you're not sure, simply ask.
You can start by adding your pronoun to your social channels or work email signature. If you're a company, you can follow in Halifax's footsteps and print out the pronoun on work badges – a move that upset all of the right people.
If something sounds 'off', speak up
When something 'off' goes unchecked, the likelihood is, that person will continue. This could lead to further discrimination, violence and the denial of fundamental human rights to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.
The common issue with bigotry is people only care when it's someone they know. Make speaking up your default.
Expand your reading and listening habits
There's so much cultural content out there – and there's zero risk in broadening your knowledge and insight.
A great place to start for inspiration would be Gay Pride Shop, Manchester's longest-running independent book shop. They stock thousands of LGBTQ+ books in-store and online and donate a profit from every sale to some incredible LGBTQ+ charities.
As for LGBTQ+ ally parents, you can diversify your children's library to feature LGBTQ+ families, which teaches them about difference and acceptance.
Support small LGBTQ+ businesses
While corporations plaster themselves in rainbows during June, it's important not to overlook queer creators and traders.
If you can, a simple way to show support and allyship is to buy something from a small queer-owned business. You can also show support by sharing their page and posts on social media.
London Pride celebrations will continue 2nd July.
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