Being an LGBTQ+ Ally
Do you have a friend or loved one who identifies as being part of the Queer community?
Are you curious as to what to say and how to behave around them?
Do you simply want to know more and how to become a better ally?
Well, here is some basic information and links to additional resources to help you on your journey.
Whether you are a person seeking to have your chosen pronouns used or you just want to be respectful of your fellow humans' comfort, here are some general guidelines on how to approach pronoun awareness and usage.
The Anti-Defamation League has a good resource page for this as well: click HERE.
Quoted from the Human Rights Campaign website:
"Coming out in order to live openly isn’t something you do once, or even for one year. It’s a decision that we make every single day of our lives. Every coming out experience is unique and must be navigated in the way most comfortable for the individual. Whether it's for the first time ever or the first time today, coming out can be an arduous journey. It is also a brave decision to live authentically."
The HRC website has a whole bunch pf articles and resources on this subject.
If you are a friend or parent to whom someone has come out and you are unsure of how to react or behave, first and foremost listening and pronouncing your support for that person can be the best thing you can do. There is no one "right" way to act or a specific "right thing to say". Every situation is different.
"Queer" (the word and its use)
The word "QUEER" is often used as an umbrella term, a catch-all, for anything or anyone relating to the LGBTQ community. It is not uncommon for an individual to identify as, for instance, both "lesbian AND queer". For some, Queer IS the defining term for their identity as they may not feel that any of the established terminology describes them.
Here is a terrific article from BUSTLE.COM on the use of this word.
Parenting an LGBTQ+ child
A child coming out to family members is emotionally vulnerable. Those who receive the news are often upset and overwhelmed. There will probably be missteps on both sides — this is new territory for most families.
Being willing to listen, offer support and genuinely attempt to understand their views and experience are great first steps to handling a child being brave enough to step "out of the closet".
We strive to build a society where coming out is no longer necessary, but until then, here are a couple resources for more information on the subject:
Drag (Kings, Queens and everything in-between)
Drag performance is rooted in the history of subversive gender identity culture. It used to be that people who wanted to express gender in ways that were not palatable to society, they had to do so in the confines of gay nightclubs and establishments away from the prying eyes of surrounding culture.
For some, if not many, drag and drag performing was (and still is) a way for them to explore who they are and what sort of gender representation they want to present to the world.
These days, with the heightened popularity of drag and its rapid infusion into mainstream pop culture, drag has evolved into its own performance art form that deserves to stand on stage with its classical ancestors of theater, dance and song. It no longer needs to be myopically mired in cross-gender-bending (meaning men dressing as women and women dressing as men) but it is growing to embrace any person, of any orientation to express themselves in most any way they desire.
If you are someone, or know someone who is interested in exploring the realm of drag, there are certainly innumerable makeup tutorials online and plenty of guidance on how to create your LOOK, but actually "getting out there" and gaining access to places to get your feet wet and perform can be tricky whether you live in an isolated rural town or in the throbbing heart of a city where drag seems to be happening on every corner.
Please feel free to reach out to us here at Alnite Alliance if you'd like some personalized guidance.
Here are a couple other online starting points that may be of some help:
Them.us (a nice starting guide)
Drag King 101 (a guide for things kingly)