This Pride, Be Mindful of the Space You Take Up
Being an activist, it’s easy to go on a heartfelt, yet heated spiel about topics you’re passionate about - for us, that’s equality. This Pride season we are out in full force.
This Pride season, while we speak up for our queer community, we want to make sure that we are taking up appropriate space. Wondering how to take that into action yourself?
This Pride, acknowledge the space you take up. First, if you are a vocal person, maybe step back to see who steps up to the plate. Sometimes, having a powerful voice can drown out other important voices too. Of course, this is usually unintentional but if you notice you have spoken up the most, take a time to internally reflect. Encourage others to speak up (without pressuring them)! Secondly, if you are not personally celebrating Pride for yourself, but as an ally, let the LGBTQIA+ community speak. Use your privileged platform to support those in the community who speak up, instead of adding your own personal message. Finally, remember everyone is an expert of their own experiences. What may not make sense to you makes perfect sense to others.
I am a cis-gendered, straight woman. Being a double minority (black and a woman), my activist spirit is sometimes hard to tame. However, I don’t need to remove this drive, I just need to rearrange it and put it to a greater use. For instance, this Pride, instead of using my platform for my own greater good (ex. calling out my homophobic and transphobic peers for my own personal vendetta), I decided to repost from several influential people from the LGBTQIA+ community. Since my sexual orientation is not marginalized, I have a privileged platform and since I have that privilege, it’s my job to help the LGBTQIA+ community.
Be mindful of the space you take up this Pride. Think to yourself: “Is this the time and place to speak up? Can I support someone else by using my platform? Am I the right person to speak on this?”
If you’re cis-gender and straight, think about instead of speaking up, you can just support others who do not have the same platform as you. Happy Pride everyone!