There is a huge difference between tolerating something and truly embracing it. For the members of the
LGBTQ community, it can often be the difference between “not being kicked out of the house” and
feeling comfortable enough to bring your significant other home to meet your parents. As we see the
rainbow flags all around in the month of June as being celebrated as “Pride month”, one can’t help but
wonder if this is real acceptance or just a temporary safe zone each year.
Though it sometimes may seem the world is more accepting, there are still constant attacks on LGBTQ rights and people. There are plenty of people who still say, “I don’t have a problem with LGBTQ people. I just don’t approve of their lifestyle.” Even this basic form of non-acceptance can have devastating effects when people hear it from their loved ones. Hence, what we really need to strive for is total
acceptance and support, whether it’s from family, friends, or external resources and programs in the community. It’s time for people to be “loud and proud” embracing their gender identity and sexual orientation.
Celebrating Pride is important for people in the LGBTQ community so that they know they are loved and
accepted by all as a whole. There are people who don’t identify as LGBTQ but are strong supporters.
They stand up for the equal rights of the LGBTQ community. They are thus, called allies. An ally is a
really good friend or family member who sticks by you, especially when times get tough. It’s like having
someone stand up for a friend when they are being bullied.
If we at the individual level learn to accept and respect each individual’s life irrespective of caste, religion,
and gender, we will end up making our society a much better and happier place not to just live but also
to co-exist. Ultimately, being different is what makes us unique!
–Anujaa Navaratnaa is a Gender Affirmative Counseling Psychologist, Transformation Coach, and Mentor.