This Pride we are encouraging folks to rise up, speak out, and take action to protect LGBTQ youth across the intersections of multiple marginalized identities. GLSEN's National Student Council shared action steps that people do to put allyship in action and rise up for queer students. Read their tips below and see glsen.org/pride for more ways you can get involved!
1. Educate Yourself
Ose Arheghan: "allies can start to educate themselves on not only what queerness means now, but where that comes from. The importance of learning LGBTQ history cannot be overstated in my opinion."
Cruz Contreras: "allies need to stop taking the easy route of learning 'basic' terminology for the community. learn and educate about the “Q+” in LGBTQ+, learn how intersectionality plays a big role in many of our communities advocates fighting stances, learn that pride marches are not just about a colorful rainbow parade, and finally learn that just saying you're an ally does not mean you are taking action to improve the lives of us in the community."
2. Be Conscious of Who You Are Supporting Financially
James VK: "allies can help by refraining from rainbow capitalism and using financial resources to literally fund things that go directly to LGBTQ students work."
Sarah Bunn: "Action steps that people can take in allyship are understanding the history and importance of pride month. It is key to know that supporting rainbow capitalism/businesses that exploit the LGBTQ community for profit is NOT allyship. People must remember that pride month is made to elevate voices that are usually ignored, especially those that are marginalized within the community, such as those who are POC or disabled.
3. Ask & Listen
Emily Gentry: "the biggest action step I would propose is instead of making the acquisition that pride harms society, ask questions to further your understanding. if you don’t get why the lgbtq community celebrates pride, ask. if the sexuality or gender spectrum confuses you, ask. pride is a month of celebration, and well as a month of showcasing and educating our lives."
Kian Tortorello-Allen: "Action steps people can take are showing up, listening and educating yourself. Teach yourself and others what it means to love yourself and others and show up for those who might not have all the love yet."
4. Center Marginalized Queer Identities
Imani Sims: "in order to have pride, you need to be inclusive. you need to center the queer folks of color, the queer folks with disabilities, the poor queer folks. to have pride is to make sure everyone has a seat at the gay table (gayble if you will), and amplifying voices that are often silenced."
Soli Guzman: "During pride, people have to remember that pride is made for queer people to find each other and themselves. Specifically, to celebrate ourselves for our beauty and culture. This right here is what those who are allies must remember: Pride is not made for people to take photos and post them on Instagram with rainbow face paint. Pride is not time to kiss your best friend on the cheek for Snapchat. It’s a time of remembrance and celebration for those who are queer and a time to highlight marginalized voices who are not seen in the community."
Marisa Matias: "Learn about intersectionality! That’s the first step to becoming self-aware and the best ally one can be. Learning where identities fall in the scope of American society is crucial when understanding the struggles of marginalized people!"
6. Don't Censor Queer Expression
Ezra Morales: "wanna be a better ally to LGBTQ+ & other minority students? allow them to wear items that represent what pride means to them. saying a student can’t wear a rainbow item within school dress code is a form of censorship!"
For more ways you can take action in allyship with LGBTQ youth, visit glsen.org/pride!