Pride Season, which runs annually from May to September, is more than parades. Pride is a collective political movement, a protest even, for equal rights for 2SLGBTQIA+ people. Beyond taking part in celebrations and parades this season, take action for 2SLGBTQIA+ peoples, as there is still much work to be done.
Allyship is a verb, not a noun!
Allyship describes the actions a person takes to actively support oppressed individuals and/or communities. The aim of these actions is to end discrimination, dismantle the systems of power that oppress, and end inequity. Allyship for example can be when a heterosexual and/or cisgender person takes action to support 2SLGBTQIA+ communities.
One action you can take is to learn the terminology. Keep in mind that language continuously and rapidly evolves, making terminology fluid and that identity labels mean different things to different people. Remember that only individuals can tell you what words they would like used for them. It is always best to respectfully ask, and listen, to how a person refers to themselves. Another action is to normalize introducing yourself with your pronouns (i.e. they/ she, he/him) and using gender inclusive language, such as “Hello everyone,” and “Thanks friends”.
The 2SLGBTQIA+ community is diverse, and someone’s orientation and gender is specific to the individual. Being respectful is the most important part of allyship. Remember that no matter how someone identifies their own gender, they may still identify with any sexual orientation. Everyone has a sexual and a gender identity, and they are separate and distinct from each other.
It’s important that you should never share someone else’s story, unless you have their consent. Do your part to educate yourself on the history of 2SLGBTQIA+ people, especially those with intersecting identities. An injustice to one is an injustice to all, and it is important that we fight for laws that are more inclusive of people regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics.
Antonietta/ Netta Coccaro (they/them)
PSAC Ontario Council