Allyship, Pride and staying the duration

Last week my daughter, just a few months from her 18th birthday, came home upset and angry. She said she was sick to death of casual homophobia and sexism every single day of her life. I felt quite helpless to make things better.

It made me think of Pride this year, and this move away from the sense of celebration we’ve seen over the last few years where brands have been keen to jump in. However, when the rubber hits the road and LGBTQ+ people need true allyship, that support is diluted at best, or disappears completely – I’m thinking of the FA and England’s men’s football team’s lack of allyship at the World Cup in 2022 or the work Anheuser-Busch is doing to claw back conservative sales after its partnership with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney.

The backdrop of this year’s Pride month is the erosion of LGBTQ+ rights worldwide, despite decades of progress, which prompted this response from the UN last summer. Combine this with more far-right terminology being legitimized in mainstream media, the result is in everyday discourse, people are more emboldened and feel justified to use subtle language that is just as insidious and dangerous for what is an already marginalised group.

It’s no surprise then that Pride feels like it has gone back to its original roots this year with a more activist, more protest-fuelled spirit.

The LGBTQ+ community needs more support and more tangible, active allyship than ever, and the real work starts when the going gets tough, not just when it’s a celebration of culture (which of course is a lot of fun too).

Artist Mary Lovelace O’Neal said “Racism is like rain, either it’s raining or it’s gathering somewhere.” I think there are parallels here for the LGBTQ+ community and it’s at these times that we all need to stand up, call out homophobia, transphobia and biphobia every time and stand behind our friends, colleagues and loved ones, not just during the month of June but all year round.



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