Happy Pride Month, y’all! Amplify celebrates and honors the history and resilience of the 2SLGBTQ+ community during Pride. Now more than ever, young people need us to show up for them and create safe environments that foster acceptance and understanding. In this blog post, we will explore concrete ways to affirm and support the 2SLGBTQ+ young people in our lives.
1. Lead With Love
Be a source of support for 2SLGBTQ+ youth by offering guidance and creating a safe space for them to share their thoughts and experiences. Listen with intention, validate their feelings, and let them know that you are there for them without judgment. PFLAG has a great guide for supporting young people (and yourself) through the coming out process and beyond! Use inclusive language by learning terms for different identities, using correct pronouns, and educating others about their importance. Display visible symbols of support, such as pride flags or stickers. By being a supportive, trusted adult, you help 2SLGBTQ+ youth navigate their identities with confidence and resilience.
2. Educate and Reflect
Take an active role in educating yourself about 2SLGBTQ+ issues. Stay updated on current events, policies, and resources through organizations like Freedom Oklahoma. Reflect on the stereotypes and biases that you might hold and work to unlearn them. Seek out books, movies, and music created by 2SLGBTQ+ people to explore diverse perspectives through personal insight. We can challenge stereotypes, expand our understanding, and become better allies to 2SLGBTQ+ youth by continuously educating ourselves.
3. Create Safe and Inclusive Spaces
Promote safe and inclusive community spaces where 2SLGBTQ+ youth feel accepted and valued, like Youth Services Tulsa’s GSA and Black Queer Tulsa. The Tulsa Public Library also has a great list of referrals for 2SLGBTQ+-friendly organizations, healthcare providers, and support groups for adults and young people! Create safe spaces by challenging discriminatory language and behaviors when you encounter them, showing that intolerance will not be tolerated. Additionally, consider advocating for inclusive policies in schools, workplaces, and community organizations to ensure a supportive environment for all.
4. Amplify Voices
Use your voice to advocate for 2SLGBTQ+ rights and equality. Join local and national advocacy organizations like Oklahomans for Equality, participate in Pride events, and support equality initiatives
Pride Month reminds us of the importance of affirming and supporting 2SLGBTQ+ youth in our lives. We know one affirming adult can save a young person’s life. Every young person should grow up in a world that loves and affirms their identities, and we are ready to be trusted adults who celebrate the 2SLGBTQ+ community this entire month and every month after that!
Pride Month Recommended Reads
PFLAG is the nation’s largest organization dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating for LGBTQ+ people and those who love them. They have great resources for 2SLGBTQ+ young people and their families. Check out their book lists below:
*2SLGBTQ+ is an acronym that refers to Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, and Queer people, as well as many other identities! We use this acronym a lot in Oklahoma to recognize the importance of Indigenous identities, such as Two-Spirit, in our state!