March 2, 2024

When all colors unite against oppressive laws and stifling societal values, it is somehow fitting to commemorate a revolutionary moment through a month-long pride celebration of a lifetime fight for freedom and acceptance in an ever-changing society.
On the first hour of June, Facebook’s logo algorithmically changed into animated cartoon characters that are colorfully flaunted. I was not intentionally awake at dawn to witness social media apps and brands show their inclusive advertising strategy, but it served its purpose as it had me quickly tap on my phone the words, “How to be an ally of the LGBT community.”
I speak for most people when I say, I have little to no knowledge of the harsh treatments members of the LGBT go through. Bound by misinterpreted religious text and an intolerant environment towards diversity, I grew up to be one of the homophobic maniacs and I knew I needed to do something.
Most of my friends are gay and they are some, even the most jovial, people I know. However, I am not aware of the bigotry they must endure and the need to continually prove themselves to a society where people deem them as “less.”
Needless to say, the world has been changing progressively that countries are becoming more inclusive, if not tolerable towards gay people. The media inform us time and again of a new gay prime minister, a new gay successful entrepreneur, or a new gay founder of a multinational company. I mean it adds up to its newsworthiness if they put the word “gay” in each headline. In hindsight, it is beneficial in the fight towards gender equality as it provides awareness that all genders have a lot more in common than deviation.
Family acceptance is a harder process just like how gay people came out from their closets aka their gender identity. I was talking with my friend the other day and he mentioned how coming out is a process that gay people owe to themselves, their family, and friends. Every coming out story is unique. Some have it hard that they need to prepare their families and create a safe environment first. Some have it easy, where they express themselves freely without saying a word and people just know. Either way, it is a process and it takes a lot of compassion and understanding.
Going back to my word search, hundreds of articles and suggested word searches were popping up on my screen, and I skimmed through most of them. I do not fully grasp the technical terms and their meaning, but I had eureka moment when I answered my own question – treat them with love and kindness just like any other human beings.
June is Pride Month and the fight for gender equality is still on the lookout as laws are made to advance it. However, the real advancement is people being educated as they progressively change their outlook in a bright loving manner as we all take part in the united colors and its perceived everlasting acceptance. Cleevimae B. Oyan (CLEEVIMAE B. OYAN)