Photo by : Anna Shvets
Pride Month is a time to honor and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community, their achievements, and their ongoing fight for equality and acceptance. It is a time to remind one another that there is no need to be afraid to show our true colors to one anther – regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or diverse ways in which individuals choose to self-identify.
Humanity comes in expressions that are multifaceted and rich and without any limits. The richness, the variety makes the subject of these celebrations.
Being an ally or a supporter entails more than simply acknowledging Pride Month and its significance and power for the community. It goes beyond displaying rainbows or attending parades. It requires active engagement, empathy, and dedication to promoting inclusivity, equality, and acceptance. We often contemplate what it means to be an ally today and what concrete steps can be taken to actively support the LGBTQIA+ community?
For this month we are feeling called to share a few thoughts with you how this could look like:
- Educate Yourself: One of the most crucial steps to becoming a supporter of Pride is educating yourself about the history, struggles, and achievements of the LGBTQAI+ community. Read books, watch documentaries, and engage with reliable online resources to gain a deeper understanding of the diverse experiences and challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals. By becoming well-informed, you can better empathize with and appreciate the community's resilience.
- Listen and Amplify Voices: Take the time to listen to the stories and experiences shared by LGBTQIA+ individuals. Attend community events, engage in open and respectful conversations, and actively seek out perspectives that differ from your own. Amplify these voices by sharing their stories on social media or platforms where you have influence, helping to create greater awareness and understanding.
- Advocate for LGBTQ+ Rights: Supporting LGBTQIA+ rights means advocating for equal opportunities, protections, and legal recognition for all. Join or support local LGBTQIA+ advocacy organizations, donate to relevant causes, or volunteer your time to actively contribute to the progress of LGBTQIA+ rights.
- Create an Inclusive Environment: Promote inclusivity in your personal and professional spaces. Challenge discriminatory language and behavior when you witness it. Use gender-neutral language and encourage others to do the same. Ensure that LGBTQIA+ individuals feel safe and welcome by respecting their pronouns and gender identities. By fostering an inclusive environment, you help create a sense of belonging and acceptance.
- Support LGBTQAI+ Businesses and Artists: Use your consumer power to support LGBTQIA+ businesses and artists. Seek out LGBTQIA+-owned or LGBTQIA+-friendly establishments when making purchasing decisions. Attend LGBTQIA+ events, exhibitions, performances, or shows to appreciate and uplift queer artists. By supporting their work, you contribute to their visibility and success.
- Stand Up Against Discrimination: If you witness discrimination or prejudice directed towards LGBTQIA+ individuals, be an ally and take a stand against it. Speak out against homophobic or transphobic comments, challenge stereotypes, and support victims by offering comfort and reassurance.
- Engage in Volunteering and Fundraising: Participate in LGBTQIA+ volunteering opportunities or fundraising events. Many organizations rely on volunteers to carry out their important work, such as providing support services, organizing pride events, or offering counseling. By actively participating, you can contribute to the betterment of the LGBTQIA+ community and help make a difference.
Have a little think
How do any of these practical steps sit with you? Could you go further and take an honest look in the proverbial mirror of self-reflection?
Besides all active things we can do, we believe that Pride month is also a great opportunity to have a little think on our own biases, projections and ways we show up in this world. Ultimately, pride is also about that.
What would it mean to you and for you, if you dared to show up in all of your true colors?
What do you think is the essence of who you really are?
Are there parts of you that you held back in the past?
If so, what are the factors that you think might hold you back?
What inspires us in others when they show their true colors?
How can we support others and celebrate others when they do? How would we support if they don’t get supported but bullied instead?
Pride month is a great time to show accountability. Towards a community that has been persecuted and bullied for hundreds of years. It also offers a time to turn our gaze towards our selves, our contribution to the world through the all the ways we are showing up, partaking and supporting.
Maybe these questions inspire you to journal a little about it.
A gentle, yet colorful reminder
For this upcoming month we are updating our Ananda Soul packaging to show our support to all pride communities by adding a colorful and shimmery reminder to all our packages: Don’t ever be afraid to show your true colors – a reminder and a celebration of the multifaceted expression that is life.
Happy Pride Month everybody!