5 Things Straight People At Pride Need To Know About Being A Good LGBTQIA Ally

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Things Straight People At Pride Need To Know About Being A Good LGBTQIA Ally
Contributor
Love, Self

Every June, we recognize Gay Pride Month as a time to celebrate all the beautiful and important individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community. It's especially important for individuals in the gay community to express and embrace themselves for who they are.

Cities all over the world have huge parades and celebrations in honor and support of the LGBTQIA+ community. It gives the queer community a place to feel safe and supported by the people of their city, and for allies to come and show support for their LGBT friends and family.

So, as an LGBT ally during gay pride, how can you go about supporting your LGBT friends at one of these events when you're straight? It sounds as simple as showing up decked out in your rainbows and glitter, but it’s far more complicated than that.

RELATED: How The Rainbow Became The Symbol Of LGBT Pride

There is a history of injustices done towards the queer community. Pride Month is a time of celebration, but it’s also a time to reconcile and remember all those who came before us and fought for our ability to be out and proud (even though we’re still not quite there yet).

As an LGBT ally, there’s a lot that straight people need to know before going to Pride.

It may seem harmless to go and have a good time when you know you support the community, but the LGBT community has had countless cultural aspects taken from the straight community, and have been ridiculed, belittled and unappreciated at their own events. It's unacceptable, and there's a role a straight ally can play in making sure the events this month go off without a hitch.

Being an ally means more than just loving your friends. It’s understanding the struggles that led to marriage equality, knowing the boundaries when it comes to being straight at a Pride event, and being respectful to a very damaged culture.

Here are 10 things straight people at Pride need to know in order to be the best ally they can be at this year's Pride events, and every day, for that matter:

1. Know your history.
LGBTQ Pride straight people at pride

Pride may seem like a chance to celebrate and show support for LGBTQIA+, but many people aren’t aware that June is Pride Month in honor of the Stonewall Riots in 1969, when the queer community fought back against the police brutality and the gay liberation movement began.

As an ally, it’s important that you understand and empathize with the queer community to your full capacity, and understanding the history and turmoil is extremely important.

2. The Rainbow Flag is not yours.
LGBTQ Pride straight people at pride

It may seem fun and harmless to deck yourself out in rainbow tutus and glitter, but you have to remember that the flag is not yours. The rainbow flag represents the LGBT+ community and their pride, and as an ally, that doesn’t include you.

It’s not that no one wants you to look cute and have a good time, but you have to remember that you’re there as support, not the star of the show. Even though you want to enjoy the funky makeup and costumes, now is not the time. Try a rave or a festival!

RELATED: 20 Best Rainbow Tattoos That Symbolize The LGBTQ+ Community In Celebration Of Pride Month

3. The A doesn’t stand for Ally.
LGBTQ Pride straight people at pride

Tthere’s a lot of debate over the A in the LGBTQIA acronym, but let's all be honest here: it makes no sense for an ally to be included in the queer community if you aren’t queer. Whether you think it’s included or not, it’s still not about you.

You’re like the soccer mom on the sideline or a fan at a football game — cheer on your queer pals, show how proud you are, but don’t try and get out there and play. You’ll just embarrass yourself and make everyone uncomfortable. There's a time and place for everything. Just remember, the rest of the world is built around the straight community, and your gay friends finally have a chance to be in the spotlight. Let them shine!

4. Respect the culture.
LGBTQ Pride straight people at pride

After you’ve done your fair share of research, you’ll find out that the queer community is rich with culture. There’re tons of words and phrases that the gay community have coined that mainstream culture has taken under their belt (i.e., yas queen, hunty, etc.).

The queer community has a rough history with appropriation, so just be sensitive to what you’re saying and doing. Especially when it comes to drag culture, don’t try too hard and use “gay slang” just because you’re at pride.

5. Understand that you’ll never understand.
LGBTQ Pride straight people at pride

You can love the LGBTQIA+ community with all your heart, and still never fully understand what they go through. That’s okay. You’re an ally, which means you love, support, listen and try your hardest to understand. The queer community doesn’t hold it against you, they just want you to hold their hands in solidarity, not understanding.

The best ally you can be is one that knows that you’ll never feel the pain that your queer friends have felt, but you will always love them in a way that shows your unity with them.

RELATED: 14 Inspiring Quotes To Help Us Celebrate Pride Month (Because Love Is Love)