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  • Writer's pictureMelisa De Seguirant

Approaching Pride Month Conscientiously


Pride is a wonderful time for queer people to congregate, affirm and celebrate the marginalized parts of ourselves. It’s more than just a party, though, it’s an activist movement.


Scroll through this brief guide, and read on for more ideas to make your pride celebration more conscientious and intentional this year.


 

Did you know that the P. in Martha P. Johnson stands for “Pay it no mind”? It was one of her life mottos, and her go-to response to questions about her gender. 


Martha P. Johnson & Sylvia Rivera were both key figures in the gay rights movement, present at the Stonewall Riots and even more instrumental in the days and years following. Let it not be lost on anyone that the rights the LGBTQIA+ community does enjoy today, were earned in large part due to the efforts of two trans women of color.


This pride month, take some time to learn about Martha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and their pivotal contributions. 


This pride month, take a note from Martha’s book and “Pay it no mind”. What is it like to embrace your identity without the need to explain it?


 

Pride month is a wonderful time to celebrate and support the LGBTQIA+ community, but why should it be the only time?


There can be pressure on queer people to embrace pride with gusto, but let’s be real, sometimes June just sucks. Whether it’s due to personal circumstances or the ongoing discrimination and legislative battles queer people face, it can sometimes be difficult to hold all of the competing emotions while attempting to celebrate queerness.


You are hereby invited to celebrate your queerness whenever it suits you. Plenty of cities are holding pride events in months other than June to make space for other important causes, including the black lives matter movement and Juneteenth celebrations. Just because it is pride month doesn’t mean you should be feeling elated and ready to celebrate as a queer person. You do you.


As for our allies, what if June wasn’t the only time you spoke out for the queer community? Take some time to consider the ways you can continue activism during the off-season … queer people need your support year-round!


 


Discrimination against LGBTQIA+ is not exclusively an issue in the non-queer community. Transphobia, biphobia, and other kinds of harmful prejudices exist WITHIN the queer community. And it needs to end.


What would it look like to open the gates and allow ALL queer people a space in the community? How can we expect others to accept and normalize our community when we struggle to do so ourselves? 


Notice the traces of intolerance still within you. We all have work to do in this area. Part of the activism encouraged by pride month is this kind of internal work. Take some time to notice where you still have gut-reactions to judge or exclude, and reflect upon where that impulse might be coming from.


We need every single member of the LGBTQIA at the table to win this fight.


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