During pride month let’s celebrate diversity! Let’s be curious, open and supportive to those identifying as LGBTQ+. Let’s stand up to prejudice and discrimination!
“Pride is unconditional love, the belief that everyone should be free to celebrate their identity, regardless of race, gender, sex, sexual orientation, education, religion, disability, financial or familial status.” (UP Rainbow Pride, Michigan, USA)
In Ontario LBGTQ+ people are more likely to face mental health issues and increased risk of suicide due to discrimination and the effects of the social determinants of health (CMHA Ontario).
These days in Canada it is often those at the intersections of marginalised communities who fair the worst, (that is for example an Asian woman with a low-income who is also bi-sexual).
Around the world in 69 countries LBGTQ+ people are criminalised and persecuted (Kaleidoscope Trust, UK). So those of us who are able, need to stand up and speak out.
Being a good ally
As a straight, cis-gendered person, what can I do to be a good ally?
“Out and Proud Affirmation Guidelines” from CAS Toronto has thorough and practical pointers (p.101 -p.106) with some helpfully clear Do’s and Don’ts. Some pointers are more relevant for talking to kids about gender, but others are more broadly applicable. Here are some that stood out to me:
I love this LGBTQ Alphabet video and this statement by Sharon Glassburn, MA, MFT, in her article An exploration of pride: why do we celebrate pride month.
For me, the queer community has always represented a refusal to fit neatly within boxes and labels. It has embraced quirks, divergence, and complexity. It has permitted multiple versions of “success,” beauty, and intelligence, allowing a diverse alphabet and rainbow of individuals to feel valued and loved… We must remain curious about one another if we’re going to evolve and grow.
As I was exploring what is happening locally for Pride in Southern Ontario I found out about Lady Phyll as this month she is the International Grand Marshall of Toronto Pride!
Lady Phyll I discovered is the Executive Director of Kaleidoscope Trust an organisation fighting for the human rights of LGBTQ+ people across the Commonwealth. She is also a founding member of UK Black Pride.
Hamilton Pride is taking place w/e of July 8th and 9th, 2022.
Here are some questions for any us, including those of us who are cis-gendered and heterosexual:
- In what ways do you feel unnecessarily restrained, or not “yourself” in the world?
- What would be different if you felt freer in your body and in your self-expression?
- What’s in your way? What can be done about it?
- What could you do to support LGBTQ+ people in your community, particularly those experiencing a high degree of marginalisation?