How you can support Pride all year long.
Have you ever wanted to help but didn’t know how? I know I have; and it can be a stressful time. Over the last decade or so I have actively been seeking ways to help the causes I am most passionate about. The one at the very top of my list is equality for ALL human beings.
This includes race equality, gender equality, and especially equality regardless of how you identify, who you are attracted to, or whom you love. We all know the saying “love is love”, right? Well, it really is and I’ve been thinking lately about what I would tell someone if they wanted to show support for the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) community.
There is no better time than now. June is PRIDE month. If you would like to know a bit more about what this means, how Furls’ is honoring and celebrating Pride, as well as see the beautiful hooks we have created to honor the LGBTQ community, please check out our Pride 2022 initiative. While you are there, be sure to learn more about The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for LGBTQ young people.
If you answered yes to the first question I asked you then I hope I can help. I have put together a list of 7 things YOU can do to help the queer community this year, and every year.
Be vocal about your support
One of the most important things we can do to help make this world more inclusive, and safe for all, is to celebrate what makes each of us unique. The more we are all open about supporting those who are different from us, the easier it will be for the next person, and especially the next generation, to do so as well. You never know who you will comfort or inspire with your own actions.
Knowledge is power. Truer words have never been spoken. Take the time to learn about things you aren’t familiar with. Whether it be about the time when gay folx did not have the same rights as everyone else, what battles had to be fought and are still being fought for them to be seen, heard and protected in this world, the unique challenges that the community faces or legislation that can affect their freedoms. The more you know, the more you can do to help and to educate others.
Almost every city in the United States, and in many other parts of the world, hosts an annual PRIDE parade or festival. This can be a celebration but it can also be a day of sadness and remembrance of those who came before. While many queer folx will happily accept and appreciate straight people marching next to them, some members of the community are not comfortable with others speaking for them. Whether or not you choose to participate, do not make yourself the center of attention. PRIDE is about the queer community and THEIR struggles. Ask how you can support, and accept the answer given.
There are many wonderful nonprofits that support LGBTQ people. You can find a local charity or support a worldwide organization. The charity that Furls has chosen to support is The Trevor Project. Last year Furls, with the maker communities help, was able to donate over $16k to this amazing organization. This year we are hoping to double our efforts by hosting a fundraiser for Trevor in which we will match all donations up to $20k. I’d like to encourage you to donate if you are able to. Every bit helps.
We understand that not everyone is in a position to donate financially, but donating isn’t the only way to help. Social media is an amazing tool and even just sharing a fundraising effort can help. The more people know about it, the more likely it will be to raise money for the cause. Spread the awareness and encourage your friends to do the same.
You can also volunteer your time. Even a couple of hours on the weekend can make a world of difference to these organizations, and the people they serve. There are always calls to be made, meals to be served and love to be given. What better way is there to take real action and make real change?
Be an ally
You can be the difference that saves someone's life. There are many different ways to be an ally, but if I could sum it up in one sentence it would be to; Live your life like the struggles affect you personally while at the same time, putting their needs above your own. Amplify THEIR voices. Listen to what they have to say. Do the work yourself, don’t ask someone else to educate you. There are many resources out there to learn about how you can help. Hold yourself accountable and take responsibility for your own actions. Most importantly, use your own privilege and transfer those resources to someone who doesn’t have them. You did not make the world this way, but you have benefited from it being the way it is. This does not mean your life has been easy, we all have our own struggles, but being persecuted for something you cannot control is not one of them. Remember that your pain is not what should be the focus, it should be about what you can do to relieve their pain. The job of an ally is to listen to the need and fulfill it, no matter the cost or obligation to you.
I hope you have found these tips to be helpful. We believe fully in transparency and action, in all matters that involve social responsibility. If you would like to add to the conversation, please feel free to reach out to our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or to me personally at email@example.com. The entire team is always available to listen and learn. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.
This article is written by Lorene Eppolite, she/her. Lorene is the CEO of Furls Fiberarts. She has been with the company for 6 years and with her recent promotion, is leading the company and their mission to make the worlds best luxury and ergonomic hooks, in an ethical and responsible way.