As London Pride approaches, we’re getting ready to celebrate all things LGBT+, whilst reflecting on the month. However, in light of recent political and social events, it’s more important than ever to remember that Pride is a protest as well as a party. With that in mind, here are 11 suggestions of ways you can support, celebrateand learn about the LGBT+ community – as an ally or a member – during and beyond Pride.
1. Hit the books
Make an effort to explore and understand the history of Pride, which started in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots in New York. This year’s Pride is Jubilee themed to mark the 50-year anniversary. Since the first UK Pride, we’ve made significant progress in terms of marriage, adoption, and recognising hate crimes, but there’s a long way to go.
2. Support LGBT homelessness organisations
For a network of reasons, LGBT+ people are more likely to experience homelessness than their non-LGBT+ peers, and make up approximately 24% of the homeless population. There are multiple charitable organisations doing vital work in this area, such as Stonewall Housing or The Outside Project, who can always benefit from more support.
3. Donate to LGBT+ health and wellbeing charities
A recent government survey reported that half of LGBT+ people experienced depression last year, whilst 14% reported difficulty with accessing healthcare for fear of discrimination. Charities like MindOut, Stonewall, and Mermaids are providing a variety of vital mental health care services, whilst raising awareness and helping to build a more inclusive and accepting society.
4. Extend your compassion to the global community
LGBT+ activists have a long history of working collaboratively with marginalised groups around the world. Inspired by the miner and LGBT solidarity in the 1980s, queer activist group, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants, are working to help migrants and refugees through direct action and fundraising. They welcome support from all allies to the cause.
5. Be inclusive
Society is on a big learning curve, but we can all help in our daily lives by behaving mindfully and empathetically. For those of us in the advertising industry, it’s important that we challenge stereotypes, and think inclusively and flexibly about what we write and the images we present. In the wider world, try not to make assumptions about people’s identity, and respect people’s pronoun choices. For people who are frequently misgendered, being called the wrong pronoun can make them feel invalidated and disrespected (imagine being called the wrong name, constantly). Using someone’s correct pronouns is a small but significant way of showing respect.
6. Visit an exhibition
There is so much exceptional and ground-breaking LGBT+ art, music and poetry to explore. The Hayward Gallery’s Kiss My Genders is on from now until early September, and exhibits the work of over 30 international artists. It has received much critical acclaim and been described as ‘a riot of inclusivity and fluidity’.
7. Watch some great films
Whatever platform you subscribe to, there’s plenty of excellent LGBT+ cinema and documentaries to explore. If you’re interested in the history of drag culture, you could try the documentary, Paris is Burning. Brit flick, Pride (based on the LGBT+’s community’s support of the Welsh miners), is also well worth a watch.
If someone’s telling you about their lived experience – listen. None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes! If you’ve upset someone, try to avoid getting defensive, hear them out, be gracious, and apologise.
9. Speak out
Harassment is all too common, with two thirds of LGBT+ people reporting being afraid to hold their partner’s hand in public. If you see someone being harassed, there are a number of ways you can help. If you’d like further advice about how to deal with harassment, without putting yourself in danger, read this article from Global Citizen.
10. Consider ‘calling in’
How you challenge homophobic attitudes and jokes can have a huge impact on the way your comments are received. In many contexts, ‘calling in’ (as oppose to ‘calling out’) can have a much better result. To ‘call in’, try speaking to the person in private after the event, rather than calling them out at the time and in a public setting.
11. ...and repeat!
LGBT+ causes need support and solidarity all year round. To keep up to date with LGBT+ issues, ‘like’ and ‘follow’ specialised groups on your socials to expand your bubble and introduce yourself to new ideas and issues. Most importantly, live kindly and let empathy be your guide.
About 11 London
11 London is an advertising and communications agency, based in leafy West London. We work in the areas of health and humanity - with organisations, brands or products that improve or prolong life. To learn more about 11 London, please contact:
Matthew Hunt at email@example.com