With the coming of June marks another year where I celebrate being 55 shades of gay. Indeed, I do celebrate my homosexuality every day I chose to take a breath, but June marks Pride Month and with that, the celebration gets kicked up a couple decibels.
Unless you’ve been under a rock—and honestly, that might be a safe space in this current political climate—you may have noticed a bevy of rainbows appearing all over your timelines and splattered on billboards and logos across the country. This is a way people show their “support” for the LGBTQ+ community, but your posting of a random rainbow means nothing if your support doesn’t stretch beyond your display.
Let’s be clear—and this should go without saying—Pride Month is for the LGBTQ+ community and if you don’t identify as a member of this community then your celebration should be in the form of an investment in said community. If you truly call yourself an ally you will go beyond changing an icon and speak out against the injustices that the LGBTQ+ community faces. Your voice on an issue may be the necessary education someone needs to save the life of one of the many members of this diverse community.
During this month, like many other months that celebrate “the others,” I know many of you cis-hetero people will be inclined to make this a “What about me?” moment. Please suppress that feeling and go eat a cookie or have a V8. Straight people have their own share of issues, but members of the LGBTQ+ community are constantly fighting for the right to merely exist. Let us have this month in peace without you coming through and making it about you.
After June is over, it is imperative that corporations keep the same energy they had when they slapped that rainbow all over their brands. The use of the rainbow means nothing if you do not support and employ LGBTQ+ individuals the other 11 months out of the year.
The birth of Pride Month is rooted in fighting for the right to exist without persecution. Yes, it is indeed a celebration, but also a radical act that shows that the world that we are still here and we are not ashamed of who we choose to love, and fuck, and then take to Red Lobster.