Question of the Week
Happy Friday and Happy Pride, everyone!
June is LGBTQ Pride Month across the country. I love this time of year — the Pride parties, parades, and the overall good energy as people – community members and allies – celebrate LGBTQ pride. And as places all over the country continue to open up, it looks like we can all celebrate together!
The Pride movement stemmed from the riots and protests that created awareness of deep-seated problems and energized people to take action to make substantial change. Unfortunately, it has become mainstream and somewhat exploited by big businesses, but I want to take a minute to reiterate that our work is not done.
Anti-LGBTQ groups and legislators nationwide are attacking our community members. The ACLU is tracking 491 anti-LGBTQ bills in the US. In 2023, 79 anti-trans bills have passed out of the 556 proposed nationwide. According to the Williams Institute, there are more than 300,000 high-school-aged (ages 13-17) transgender Youth in the United States today, and 44% of them live in states where they have lost access to or are at risk of losing access to gender-affirming care.
So yes, let loose, celebrate, and enjoy everything this month offers. I know I will. I’ll also use this month of extra visibility to uplift my trans family members to let them know they are seen, heard, and not alone.
Quote of the Week
“I’m not missing a minute of this. It’s the revolution!” – Sylvia Rivera
Task of the Week
Want to be an ally? I love these tips from Youth Engaged 4 Change:
- Stay Informed: If you don’t know the difference between sex and gender or current LGBT-related news and issues, educate yourself. Ask questions, do research, and don’t be afraid, to be honest about what you don’t know.
- Speak Up: There are many reasons why people don’t speak up when they hear something offensive, like “that’s so gay.” It can be awkward, people don’t know what to say, or don’t want to make the situation worse. But, words can hurt. When you speak up, it educates others, lets them know their words are not acceptable, and may give others the courage to speak up as well. You can also change how people act in the future. This is powerful.
- Be Honest: Speak openly about family members, friends, and colleagues who are LGBT, if they are out and are comfortable with you discussing it with others. People often assume they will offend others or make them uncomfortable if they mention LGBT topics. Also, remember that occasional disagreement is normal and healthy!
- Support Equality: Support policies at school, work, or other places that help protect LGBT people from discrimination. Even if the issues seem small, they can have a big impact on people’s lives. If you see or hear of an unfair rule or policy, talk to a peer or trusted adult about your concerns and what you can do to make a change.
- Come Out as an Ally: Anyone can be an ally, regardless of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Be proud to support the LGBT community. Remember, being an ally can be joining an LGBT group — for example, Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), a student-run group — or as simple as showing your support online.
Which one can you employ today?