Hi, y’all.

I’m back a week early for a brief newsletter to kick off Pride Month! So first, Happy Pride!!! We’re officially in the season of “move, I’m gay!,” speed racing whilst holding an iced coffee, glitter that lasts ‘til Christmas, and being as loud and as proud as we’re due (or as we’re safe to be).

This Pride is loaded with threats from neo-Nazi-groups (The New Republic) and other terrorist groups (The Buckeye Flame), reverse rainbow washing (The Majority Report), and over 400 anti-LGBTQ+ bills. As such, this will not be our typical Pride. While our visibility is an act of self-love and protest, we must move forward with the understanding that being visible is also putting us in danger. Be vigilant. Communicate with your community. We know that Pride is a reminder that we are stronger together. Let that understanding be at the forefront of our movements this month and beyond.

Allies, this month it’s time for y’all to take the baton of activism. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of ways to make allyship more of a verb than a label this month:

🏳️‍🌈 Get on the phone. Communicate with your community about LGBTQ+ rights. Call your representatives, your school boards, and/or your local government. Speak out against anti-LGBTQ+ laws.

🏳️‍🌈 Ask people their pronouns. Don’t assume someone’s gender based on social conditioning! Offer people your pronouns as well. Put your pronouns in your email signature so that your LGBTQ+ colleagues aren’t the only ones doing it! We all have pronouns.

🏳️‍🌈 Educate yourself. Knowledge is power, so continue to educate yourselves about what impacts LGBTQ+ folks. (Reading this newsletter is a great place to start.) If you don’t know the answer to something, Google it first! Try reading LGBTQ+-created or -focused resources, such as GLAAD, PFLAG, The Trevor Project, and the Human Rights Campaign. Where you receive your information from matters. Trust LGBTQ+ folks to tell their own stories and speak their own truths.

🏳️‍🌈 Redistribute your funds and/or time. Give money to your local LGBTQ+ Center, GLSEN, The Trevor Project, or other LGBTQ+ mutual aid funds. If you can’t give money, volunteer for a local or national LGBTQ+ organization. You can also make a tax-deductible donation to OptOut LGBTQ+, so that we can continue our efforts! And don’t forget about the LGBTQ+-focused news outlets in our network, including TransLash, The Buckeye Flame, The Humanist Report, QueerAF, and Assigned Media!

🏳️‍🌈 Advocate for LGBTQ+ folks in your daily conversations. Ask why your favorite coffee shop, office, or community center doesn’t have gender-neutral restrooms. Correct your uncle about your siblings’ pronouns. Call out bigotry when you see or hear it.

We’re tired!!! And yet we know this work is unlikely to end in our lifetimes. Help carry the torch for a little while so we can cherish being alive in our queer and trans bodies.  

What are you doing to make this world equitable and safe for LGBTQ+ people?

LGBTQ+ folks, being proud is our birthright. Let us seek and find joy, safety, solace, solidarity, love, and compassion this month. Let us harness our power. Let us make it to July.

The OptOut Media Foundation (EIN: 85-2348079) is a nonprofit charity with a mission to educate the public about current events and help sustain a diverse media ecosystem by promoting and assisting independent news outlets and, in doing so, advance democracy and social justice.

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