Happy Pride Month, vinas! Pride Month celebrates those in the LGBTQ+ community. It’s held each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, which were a tipping point for LGBTQ+ liberation in the United States.
If you’ve got any vinas that make the big decision to come out to you, here’s some helpful tips on how to be a supportive ally.
Realize that coming out is a process. Those who come out of the closet as LGBTQ+ are constantly having to come out of the closet to new people, and it’s not always as easy as you may think. It’s portrayed in movies and shows like it’s one big event, but your vina is having to come out to as many people as they choose to.
So while your vina may have come out to you, please respect their privacy and let them come out as they’d like to – don’t out them without their explicit permission to other people. For some vinas, coming out might not always be safe for them. If your friend has come out to you rather early in their coming-out process, they may need moral support when telling other people. Maybe they haven’t come out to parents or siblings yet and want your advice. (Or, maybe they don’t, and that’s okay). Don’t pressure your vina. Let them go through this process on their own terms.
Be sensitive to the situation – don’t dehumanize or de-individualize your friend. Oddly general comments like, “wWow, you act so straight,” or, “I love gay people!” or, “Whoops, I guess I just still see you as a girl,” are really discouraging and non-supportive for LGBTQ+ vinas that choose you as a support system and trust you enough to come out to you. Try to be sensitive of what they’ve just entrusted you with. Be supportive. Ask how you can support them, if you’re not sure how supportive you can actually be.
Fully embrace their identity – this goes so much further than just accepting it. If your vina has come out to you as gay, bi, or queer, embrace that and ask them what they need from you. If they come out to you as trans, respect them by asking what their preferred pronouns are, or their preferred name, and how you can best support them in this identity that’s just been revealed to you. Embracing things means you’ve got your vina’s back – you’re going to stand up for them if they’re being bullied and establish that you’re going to be a safe place for them.
Happy Pride Month and don’t forget the celebrate the unique things that make you, YOU! ✨ And hey, how about finding a friend to celebrate with?