Alhi Leconte/Staff Writer
June is known as LGBT Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall riots that took place in late June 1969 in Manhattan. Retail company Abercrombie and Fitch was recently criticized for unwisely tweeting that Pride Month isn’t just for LGBTQ people. The now deleted tweet quoted a merchandiser for the brand by the name of Kayla.
I can’t confirm if Kayla is a LGBTQ person, but that doesn’t make her comment any less ignorant and thoughtless. If she is a queer person, then she’s inaccurately stating what her community thinks of Pride Month. If she isn’t part of the queer community, then she has no place to be telling people that Pride is for everyone.
The intention of the tweet was to advertise the brand’s collaboration with LGBTQ non-profit organization, The Trevor Project, however, the foolish tweet sparked outrage from people on social media because it looks to be another case of LGBTQ activism being exploited and used for profit.
Pride events are mass gatherings intended to acknowledge and empower the varying genders and specialities that differ from cisgender and heterosexual. The queer community’s magnifying visibility has drawn in the much appreciated support of straight cisgender allies at pride events.
Straight cisgender allies are non-LGBTQ individuals who actively work towards ensuring inclusiveness in society for the queer community. They understand the purpose of pride, assist us in our fight for human rights, and most importantly, they are able to make the distinction between being a non-LGBTQ ally and a non-LGBTQ person who is accepting of our community.
An ally knows that pride is fundamentally by queer people, for queer people. A person who is accepting isn’t incapable of knowing that, but they are more likely to attend pride events just to entertain themselves.
Being LGBTQ friendly is great, but don’t just do it for the social media likes and retweets. Do it to help make a difference because you genuinely care.
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Photo taken from Flickr.