Our top tips to show your allyship at events this year
BY ELLA GAUCI, IMAGE BY @DIVERSIFYLENS
If you’ve been invited as an ally to your very first Pride event this year, don’t stress! While the rainbow face paint and aggressive blasting of Lady Gaga can be a lot of sensory overload to take in, we promise that Pride will be one of the best events of your year.
So if you’re worried about how to show your allyship this year, here is our guide for navigating Pride as an ally.
Do your research beforehand
Pride is more than just a march with some fun flags. It has a deep history within the LGBTQIA community, and it’s not really our job to educate you on that. Google is free after all. Take some time before you go to look up its history and the people who fought for the events that we get to enjoy.
People from all walks of life attend Pride every year, and that’s what makes it so great! Leave any judgement at the door, and embrace everyone for who they are. The beauty of Pride is that everyone gets to be exactly who they want to be, and if you’re making someone feel judged or uncomfortable, you’re not being an ally.
Avoid taking photos of strangers
Even if you’re only taking a photo of someone’s outfit because you love it, don’t take pictures of strangers. Aside from it being an infringement of someone’s privacy, a lot of queer people might be going to Pride without coming out to family and friends. If you post their picture online, you could be opening them to a harmful or dangerous situation. Stick to a selfie.
Be mindful of your language
You may come across a lot of words that you previously didn’t know at Pride. That being said, not all of them can be used by people outside of the community. Make sure to ask your friends about which words you can use as an ally, and be mindful of the fact that a lot of words that used to be slurs have been reclaimed by the LGBTQIA community.
Recognise your privilege
We love our allies. We love you so much. But it is important to remember on days like Pride that you don’t have to march for your basic human rights. Remember that you are in a space where people have been oppressed and mistreated their whole lives for just being who they are. Listen to the stories of the queer people around you, amplify their voices, and cheer them on.
Protect queer people from hate
Now, before you get out your chain mail and sword, this doesn’t mean that queer people need a knight in shining armour. Unfortunately, events like Pride will attract several homophobic haters. Keep your friends and loved ones distracted from these naysayers, and position yourself between the bigots and the queer people around you.
Donate (if you can!)
If you are able, try donating to some LGBTQIA charities to help support the vulnerable members of our community. You can also make a conscious effort to shop from queer vendors or brands that have shown their allyship.
At the end of the day, Pride is there to be enjoyed. Get some face paint on, wave a flag, and sing along. We hope you have the best day ever.
DIVA magazine celebrates 29 years in print in 2023. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQIA media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable.