An Open Letter to Straight People During Pride Month

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An Open Letter to Straight People During Pride Month

Haley K. Jude

Dear straight people with rainbow profile pictures,

I appreciate your gesture of solidarity! (At least I think that’s what it is, maybe you just like rainbows as much as we do wink emoticon ) We are at a historic time for the LGBTQ rights movement, and it is very exciting.

Many (but not all) LGBTQ folks are delighted about the Supreme Court decision, though most of us are cognizant of how much more there is to be done, too. I like to imagine that you have been active in our struggle for 2, 5, 10+ years, but I know that’s not the case for most of you.

So I say welcome now! Thanks for joining! May I humbly offer you some ideas of how to support LGBTQ movements as we move forward with our work?

1. Put your money where your profile pic is
If every person who rainbowed their profile pic donated to an LGBTQ cause, that would be a whole lotta money! Please take 5 minutes and send an organization some cash. A few suggested orgs:

Transgender Law Center – https://transgenderlawcenter.secure.force.com/donate
Audre Lorde Project – http://alp.org/getinvolved/support
Southerners On New Ground – https://song.ourpowerbase.net/civicrm/contribute/transact…
TJI Justice – http://www.tgijp.org/donate.html
LYRIC – http://lyric.org/give/

2. Attend Pride events as an ally, rather than a reveler
At least once, attend Pride as an ally instead of a partier. You could buy a boatload of sunscreen or water and pass it out to sunburnt/thirsty attendees. You could walk around picking up trash and recycling. You could volunteer with the official org – it takes thousands of people-hours to make these events happen!

3. Educate yourself about LGBTQ issues
Did you know that Pride commemorates an anti-police riot? If you don’t know much about the Stonewall uprising, now’s the time to find out!

And there’s so much more inequality left to fight. Only 19 states prohibit discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The laws protecting LGBTQ folks from discrimination by people like landlords, doctors, and business owners are even spottier.

Only seven states explicitly prevent discrimination against LGBTQ parents who want to foster. And LGBTQ youth are hugely overrepresented in the foster care system, in part due to abuse or neglect from their families of origin. Transgender folks (youth and adults) face particularly brutal discrimination in all areas nationwide and also increased levels of violence.

And, importantly, LGBTQ issues are intersectional. We (and, ahem, you) need to stand with Black Lives Matter, the Fight for $15, ‪#‎Not1More‬ Deportation and so many other interconnected movements.

Think about how you’re showing up, on social media and in life, for these more challenging issues, the ones that have yet to be won.

4. Talk to other straight people
When other straight, cisgender people talk about how great the Supreme Court decision is, agree, and then educate them on how much more is left to be done.

Or when people talk about how upset they are about the decision, engage them with information and stories of how this will impact lives for the better, especially the lives of people you care about, as personal stories change minds. As one example, if something happened to me during childbirth, Simone would be able to make medical decisions and take our baby home without issue now, in any state.

When people make homophobic or transphobic or sexist or racist remarks in front of you, say something to them, even though it is hard. Those conversations matter.

These are just a few ideas for now on how to engage beyond the profile picture. Fellow queers, please chime in in the comments with other suggestions!

And thanks again for showing up for us and, hopefully, showing up for all the ongoing struggles against inequality still raging in this country.

All my love,
Haley aka Queer Mama

 

Haley K. JudeHaley K. Jude is the “Queer Mama” for Autostraddle. She documents her lesbian conception and pregnancy on her YouTube page at tiny.cc/queermama. You can also follow her on tiny.cc/queermamafb and twitter.com/lezgetpregnant.

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