Being an Ally Isn’t Just for Pride Month

June 2024 | By Lisa Woolsgrove

Every June, companies plaster rainbow flags across their logos in a show of LGBTQIA+ "allyship" for Pride Month. But true allyship isn't just a celebration - it's an ongoing commitment to supporting LGBTQIA+ individuals every day. 

 

Pride Month 2

As the parent of an LGBTQIA+ adult son, I'm reminded of this constantly. I'll never forget when he approached me, eyes brimming with a mix of hope and trepidation, to share his authentic identity. In that moment, I had a choice - respond with love and affirmation, or react with misunderstanding and rejection. The path I chose would alter our relationship forever.  

Thankfully, I chose love. I hugged him tightly and told him how proud I was of his bravery. I let him know our home was a sanctuary where he could fully express himself without fear. And I committed to doing the work - educating myself by reading books and listening to LGBTQIA+ voices, connecting with community resources, and changing my language. 

Because being an ally, the focus of our Pride Month series begun here, means more than attending Pride events. It's about taking daily visible actions to create an inclusive, safe world. I attend rallies, call out discrimination when I see it, and support LGBTQIA+ businesses and initiatives. Just as importantly, I'm present for my son and others in the community - offering a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on, or quality time together. 

I'm mindful not to overshadow LGBTQIA+ voices with my own opinions. When people ask me questions, I point them to resources by those with lived experiences. I use my platform to amplify, not overshadow, the community's voices. 

Real allyship also extends beyond just the LGBTQIA+ community through an intersectional lens. My son's identity intersects with other aspects of who he is, so I speak up against all forms of discrimination and oppression. 

It hasn't always been a seamless journey, and I continue making mistakes. But I persist because allyship demands consistent, imperfect effort. I have conversations to raise awareness, vote for equality, and take daily actions supporting the LGBTQIA+ community far beyond Pride Month.   

Now as an adult, my son gives back by lifting up others who need the same support he did. He inspires me daily by modeling the unconditional belonging he once craved. And I continue learning from him what it truly means to be an ally. 

Topics: Culture

Lisa Woolsgrove

Written by Lisa Woolsgrove