Words by Nadine Bufi
Last month, June, we all saw rainbow flags drawn and colorful parades pop up one after another. Though, as all things do, 2019’s Pride Month came to an end. Thing is, whilst the marches are done and the music is over, the LGBTQ+ community is quite definitely still here.
Many come forth in June to celebrate with (and for!) the millions of queer individuals around the world. But what about once the party is over?
I have witnessed too many moments where someone is so eager to support the LGBTQ+ community during the Pride parade but continue to press the stereotype of ‘gay’ to any guy that shows a little femininity. You cannot preach about pride but forget about the reality of their struggles once June is over. It’s disappointing because so many cishet individuals take it upon themselves to get included in the festivities of Pride but still lack the respect towards all members of the queer community.
It’s too common a thought that liking a post about the Pride March is equivalent to solidarity. It’s not! These are real people fighting real problems and if you think you deserve a pat on the back for a single heart comment and then turning a blind-eye to members of the queer community in need, then you need to rethink what the Pride celebration is for.
Allies may get too caught up in the party aspect of the celebration that they forget that Pride Month and Pride March were born out of out of the hatred, even violence, against the very people that walk in it. As open as this is for the sharing of love—if you are a straight individual, you still have more privilege than most of the LGBTQ+ community. So instead of using that against them, support and protect them.
Respect your queer friends and family but extend that respect to strangers and people on the internet who deserve the same. Never forget to be accepting of the real people that are out and proud of their sexuality! Don’t stop there because tolerance does not equate to acceptance.
So, yes. That’s great you showed your support this June! But know that LGBTQ+ people don’t suddenly disappear once July 1st rolls around. Wear the rainbow every day, not just one month in a year.