“Pride is all year round.”

Supporting the LGBTQIA2S+ community does not mean some of the time; your allyship must be consistent. Supporting the LGBTQ+ community cannot be passive; your allyship must be strong and active. Supporting the LGBTQ+ community does not mean some of us; you must support all identities and orientations, particularly youth and QTPOC (queer and trans people of color). True allyship is not performative; it’s not just during Pride Month; it’s not just when it makes for good PR; it’s not just when cameras are rolling; it shouldn’t personally or financially benefit you. True allyship means standing up, speaking out and showing up when it’s least convenient and most uncomfortable; it’s marching; it’s attending the protest; it’s correcting the boss or co-working; it’s calling out the relative; it’s making ALL of the spaces that you occupy safer and more welcoming for LGBTQIA2S+ folx. True allyship is learning to be better and do better; it’s actively listening and continually educating yourself. True allyship is showing basic respect; it’s always sharing your name and pronouns and correctly using those of others; quickly apologize when you mess up, but don’t make it an ordeal; just do better next time. True allyship is attending LGBTQ-led programs and events throughout the entire year, not just during a single designated calendar month; if the only event you attend is a fun parade, then you’re not doing enough; if your business or employer just holds one DEIAA training and moves on, then you’re not doing enough; if you’re only adding a rainbow frame to your social media profile photo, then you’re not doing enough. True allyship is not mailing an annual membership check to a large, national organization once a year; it’s supporting local LGBTQ-led grassroots organizations, mutual aid funds, artists, performers and small businsses any time you’re able, all year long; it’s about not supporting individuals, businesses and organizations that actively do LGBTQ+ people harm; avoid that chicken sandwich and red kettle, for example. True allyship is being informed, educated and active politically; if you love someone, you don’t support politicians or policies that will actively do them harm; and you can’t stay home or stay silent either; speak out at that school board meeting, even if you’re busy or tired; make those calls and write those letters to your elected officials too. Now, more than ever, we need YOU! QTPOC are fighting for their very survival, and we need YOU. Love conquers hate only when we continuously, consistently stand strong together, actively and vocally fighting against bigotry. Will YOU be a true ally?

Artwork: Megemiko Art

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