Pride Month: Insights into Activating LGBTQ+ Allies
June is widely known as the month of Pride. This entire month is dedicated to uplifting LGBTQ+ voices, celebrating the LGBTQ+ culture and protesting for LGBTQ+ rights. It functions both as political activism and as a celebration of the achievements of the LGBTQ+ community from the Stonewall uprising till today.
Even though the support for the LGBTQ+ community has been growing rapidly in recent years, homophobia, transphobia and other forms of discrimination still exist and put people of this community in danger every day. In order to fight this injustice, the allies play an important role. People who support the LGBTQ+ community should openly speak up and advocate for their beliefs in order to raise awareness and set an example for society.
But how can we motivate and encourage allies to publicly support the LGBTQ+ community? Glocalities data from the 2023 wave reveal why supporters of different social issues decide to stay silent and not express their opinions publicly. The data cover 22 countries worldwide and a plethora of issues related to inclusivity and sexual reproductive rights. In the case of LGBTQ+ rights, when zooming in on two very different countries, Australia and Romania, we can observe that respondents from both countries have radically different reasons for not speaking up about social issues.
In Australia, people who support love relations between two men but don’t show public support for this issue, claim that they don’t do so because they don’t feel the need to, and because this is an issue that doesn’t affect them personally. On the other hand, silent supporters in Romania are afraid to express their opinions publicly because they think they might get harassed, either online or offline, and because they are scared of saying something wrong by accident.
Considering those results, it is crucial to think of solutions that will help people overcome those fears and freely express their opinions. Specifically in the case of Romania, when looking at the results, it is apparent that silent supporters don’t feel safe to express their opinions because they expect that they will be judged and critiqued. However, speaking up and supporting LGBTQ+ rights is more important than making a few mistakes along the way. Having a plethora of voices that support and fight for the LGBTQ+ community can result in homophobic and transphobic voices being heard less. Any public opinion that goes against oppressive and abusive ideologies should be highly appreciated and welcomed in society. Overall, in both Romania and Australia, it is important to convince people that this issue affects everyone, not only the LGBTQ+ community. By disregarding this topic as not relevant, we allow more space for harassment and homophobia to flourish and spread in society. Any violation of the freedom to be ourselves is something that should concern all of us, whether we are part of the LGBTQ+ community or not.
In conclusion, Pride Month is a great opportunity for everyone to reflect on their own actions and contributions to the fight of the LGBTQ+ community for acceptance and respect. It is a time to start publicly discussing the struggles and problems of this community and the possible solutions for them in order to create a just and inclusive society.