Looking Past Pride Month

June 1 marks the beginning of Pride Month in the US and throughout the world. Celebrations and marches are held to pay respect to those who fought for gay rights and to look towards a future of change. However, as the sun sets on June 30 and we look towards Independence Day, many will stow away their Pride flags until the next year.

What isn’t stowed away is the struggles that many who identify as LGBTQ+ face throughout the year. From being the subject of jokes, physically attacked or rejected from their own family, many will have to overcome some sort of hurdle regarding their sexual orientation. However, there are many free and confidential resources available to help support members of the LGBTQ+ community.

LGBTQ+ members couldn’t get through their struggles without the support of allies. As an ally, you can take steps to help those who may be conflicted with their sexual orientation.

  • Be willing to learn. You may not know all the symbols, acronyms and proper terminology, so take the time to understand what they mean and how they are used.
  • Be willing to listen. If someone opens up to you about their sexual orientation, hear them. Really hear them. They trust that they can talk freely to you without prejudice.
  • Be willing to get uncomfortable. Being an ally means you may be judged as well. You may get uncomfortable in some of the situations you are put in, learning new information or recognizing you may have unknowingly discriminated in the past. This is where you an go back to be willing to learn and listen, so you don’t make the same mistake twice.
  • Be willing to act. Now that you’ve learned, listened and got uncomfortable, it’s time to challenge yourself. Continue to seek new opportunities to learn about the LGBTQ+ community and advocate for others to become an ally as well.

If you or if you know someone who is in a crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The lifeline is free, confidential and available to anyone that calls.

Phi Kappa Psi condemns discrimination in any form in our fraternity. If you see or experience discrimination, you are strongly encouraged to report it to Executive Director Ron Ransom or Assistant Executive Director James D’Imperio immediately.