By: Amira Mensah, Development and Communications Associate
It’s Pride Month and we couldn’t be more excited! At Homeless Children’s Network we pride ourselves in being leaders in LGBTQI+ advocacy for almost 30 years. We are proud to have leadership, staff, community members and clients who identify as LGBTQI+. From our staff to our clients we create a safe space in which LGBTQI+ folks are supported in every way. One of the best ways to support the LGBTQI+ community is by being an ally. See below for four ways you can be an ally for the LGBTQI+ community.
For many LGBTQI+ and gender non-conforming individuals, not only is the opportunity to share SOGIE’s rarely presented, it is often not safe to do so due to transphobia and homophobic hate and violence. SOGIE stands for Sexual Orientation Gender Identity and Gender Expression, and every person has a SOGIE. An example of effective allyship is to introduce yourself with not just your name but your pronouns, and welcome people you meet to share their pronouns as well.
At HCN we strongly believe that silence is violence. When you see or hear an act of violence being committed against a member of the LGBTQI+ community, SPEAK UP. It is important to not only speak out against violent acts of homophobia but also subtle forms of discrimination or exclusion.
To be an ally, you must self-educate. Educating yourself on past and present issues faced by the LGBTQI+ community will better equip you with the tools to create and cultivate equality.
As an ally to the LGBTQI+ community, it is vital to celebrate, honor and be inclusive of all of the intersecting identities of all LGBTQI+ individuals. In order to fully support folks who identify as LGBTQI+ it is vital to just as loudly celebrate all of their identities, including race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, disability, and others.
At HCN Pride Month is every month! We are honored to be a community that celebrates, affirms and advocates for members of the LGBTQI+ community.