There is no EDM community without the queer community, and Pride is such an incredible outlet to celebrate love, to recognize the struggles that queer folk face and to welcome the power of our allies.
Allies play such a crucial role in using their privilege to fight for the rights of the LGBTQIA community.
Having strong, confident allies who fight alongside us and celebrate with us is paramount. We want to make sure you are equipped to be a strong ally, so check out these tips from EDM Maniac, as well as advice from queer producer Maude Vôs:
1. Commit To Learning And Sit In Discomfort
Being educated is the first step in becoming a successful ally. Educate yourself on anything that you are interested in, like the history of LGBTQIA in America, in music, in festivals, or whatever you want!
Make it a goal of yours to have a comprehensive understanding of the battles that queer folk have overcome and what else lies ahead.
Do not make it the responsibility of your LGBTQIA friends to educate you. Like Vôs often says “We are tired! Queer folk are so tired. Don’t make it our responsibility to educate you”, meaning that, we want to share our stories and our truths and when allies come to that conversation prepared, it makes a huge difference.
2. Know Your Place
This can be a tricky one. LGBTQIA folk never want to exclude anyone, however, our experiences and trauma often are extremely dark and personal.
Queer people tend to use humor as a release. We will make queer jokes, we may use certain words that we feel comfortable reclaiming that you might not fully understand.
The point is that we want you to laugh with us. Release trauma with us. When you can understand our jokes and laugh with us, it makes us feel connected to and supported by our allies.
However, and this is huge, if you aren’t queer, play it safe when it comes to queer language. There are some words that straight people really shouldn’t say, because it’s simply not their word to reclaim.
3. Volunteer or Donate
LGBTQIA organizations continue to grow and gain more recognition as the LGBTQIA community becomes more visible. This is a huge step in the right direction for the queer community, especially those that are underprivileged and underfunded.
These organizations are always looking for donations to further advance their work and charities. Donations can be in surplus during pride month, and while appreciated, fluctuations in donations throughout the year can make budgeting difficult.
I would encourage allies to consider looking into a small monthly donation to help our communities all year long!
Offering your time to volunteer is always going to be the most impactful way to make a difference. Organizations are always struggling to find volunteers to help execute their plans and often times volunteering time can be more beneficial than a monetary donation.
Here you can find a list of some really remarkable LGBTQIA organizations.
One thing that I really like to do to support gay men is donate blood. It is extremely difficult for gay men to donate blood in America due to FDA regulations.
These regulations are in the process of being changed, but until they are, I like to donate blood for my friends who can’t.
Since we all love music, here is a list of organizations working towards supporting LGBTQIA in music, additionally Delusional Records is a label founded by Vôs to increase visibility to queer, non-binary, and BIPOC artists.
4. Make It A Habit To Share Your Pronouns
It may not seem important for people outside the LGBTQIA community to share their pronouns, but doing so plays a crucial role in the subconscious of queer folk.
When we, as a society, normalize sharing our pronouns in casual conversation, it allows for a much safer transition for non-binary and trans folks to vocalize how they prefer to be addressed.
The best way to be a proactive ally and make sure others around you are comfortable is to share your pronouns first!
5. Go With Your Friends To LGBTQIA Events
Go do gay shit with your gay friends! Being the only queer person in a straight friend group is a struggle sometimes. I miss the gay bars! I miss the drag shows! I want to go to the pride parade on a Thursday during a music festival and I don’t want to go alone.
The queer community and queer events feel like home to so many folks and we really want our straight friends in that space with us. You don’t have to go to gay bars all the time, but offering to go when you know we really want to doesn’t go unnoticed.
This action feels especially impactful during pride month. Gays want to go to the parades and the drag shows and the events; it’s like our Christmas. Offering to go to queer events before we have to ask you to go means the world to us. Plus, drag brunch is better anyway.
6. Be Mindful Of Queer Struggles
It’s no secret that queer folk face complex struggles compared to straight people. It’s important to talk to queer folk about their struggles and be mindful of those going forward.
For instance, Vôs brought to my attention their struggles with what it means to be a “breakthrough” label. Their label, Delusional Records, was nominated for DJ Magazine’s best breakthrough label next to John Summit’s label “Off The Grid”.
At first, I didn’t see a problem with this, but after speaking with Vôs, they really opened my eyes to the fact that Summit’s label may be accomplished but there’s nothing breakthrough about it.
Summit has already obtained fame; he’s a household name at this point. The team at Delusional Records, on the other hand, are working their asses off to gain attention and increase visibility for queer artists.
The hope is that more careful consideration will be used when nominating artists, labels, etc. in categories like “breakthrough” or “revolutionary”. Being cognizant of these struggles can change the lives of queer folk everywhere.
Featured image provided by Charles Reagan