Why we must make efforts to extend our love and advocacy to the LGTBQIA+ community.
Broadening the Initiative
Each year we celebrate Pride Month to recognize the hardships that the LGBTQIA+ community face as they struggle for acceptance and equality. It is a celebration of strength, persistence, and the fight for a recognized identity. The struggles of the LGBTQIA+ community are deeply rooted in our society. However, with awareness comes action, so I urge you to learn more about the community, accept their identities, and advocate for their equality.
What is the LGBTQIA+ Community?
This is a community that encompasses individuals that fall under the categories of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and “+”, which represent everything else in between. It focuses on embracing pride, diversity, individuality, and the unwavering acceptance of all sexualities. Because identities are continually explored and accepted, it compromises an undefined set of sexualities and genders.
The Historic Exclusion of LGBTQIA+ Individuals from Women’s Issues
It is no secret that despite revised policies and efforts, the chasm between the cisgender and transgender or gender non-conforming worlds remains deep. Despite our valiant efforts on reversing discrimination against women, studies have proven that these attempts fall short in terms of improving conditions for individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community.
A study by Frontiers in Psychology uncovers and investigates the exclusion of people from the LGBTQIA+ community from gender equality, gender management, and gender mainstreaming approaches, as their efforts mainly apply to white, cisgender, and heterosexual individuals. Although straight women sadly face bullying rates over a six-month period of 6.4% in the workplace, bisexual women face a 19.2%bullying rate, and lesbian women 16.9%. And even more shockingly, transgender women face a 90% bullying rate as well as high rates of workplace harassment. This provides undeniable proof that the LGBTQIA+ remains excluded from many initiatives that aim to terminate gender-based discrimination.
How to Participate in Pride Month
With the new era of virtual celebration and the forced avoidance of social interaction, celebrating Pride Month can be a bit of a challenge. However, there are several virtual and nonvirtual ways to get involved and show your support.
If you’re vaccinated and ready to get out into the world, go to a Pride Parade! These parades are all over the world, so don’t worry, there should be one in your area. Check out all the different locations and options to celebrate here, and remember, stay safe.
If you’re still apprehensive to get out there, no worries, there are plenty of ways to celebrate virtually. If you are looking for something fun, attend or create a watch party to view media that supports LGBTQIA+ causes or join a virtual Zoom party with your friends. If you want to donate, consider options such as The Trevor Project, OutRight Action International, Trans Lifeline, and thousands of other charities and initiatives.
Just remember, part of being an advocate for women’s issues is advocating for all women, no matter of background or identity. Acceptance is key.
Sydney Gilmore is a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh Honors College majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Studio Arts and Chemistry. She is deeply passionate about issues surrounding women’s empowerment, the struggles of Asian-Americans, and women in medicine. She hopes to empower women and shed light on the current state of patriarchy and racism through her writing. In her spare time, she enjoys travel, the arts, and nature.