Loud and Proud: Celebrate Pride Month with Taana Bana

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June is Pride Month! This month is a time dedicated to celebrating and supporting the LGBTQIA+ community. Whether you identify as LGBTQIA+ or are an ally, everyone can join in the celebration of love. We at Taana Bana believe in feeling confident in who we are and staying true to ourselves. We extend our support to the community by answering these frequently asked questions about the Pride month and LGBTQIA+.


 1. What is LGBTQIA+ community?

    LGBTQIA stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, (questioning), intersex, asexual, and (agender). It is an umbrella term that is often used to refer to the community as a whole. The phrase refers to a broad coalition of groups that are diverse with respect to gender, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. The + sign indicates that there are various other identities in the spectrum.


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    2. Why do we celebrate Pride month in June?

      Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBTQ Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that queer individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.

      3. Why is the rainbow flag a symbol of LGBTQIA+ pride?

      Rainbows are a symbol of hope. Artist Gilbert Baker is widely known as the creator of the rainbow flag, which today is a symbol of LGBTQ pride. The idea of a rainbow came to him when he was dancing among a crowd of people. As he was spinningaround, Baker noticed that the colors started blending together like a beautiful rainbow. At that moment, he knew he’d be making a rainbow flag—an object that historically represented hope. The original flag was eight colors with each color representing something different. When demand for the flag increased, so did changes to the flag.


       4. What does Ally mean?

        A person who has a genuine, strong concern for the well-being of LGBTQIA+ people, supports and accepts them and advocates for their equal rights and fair treatment is an ally. Allies are important and welcome supporters of the LGBT community. They can be effective and powerful voices for LGBT equality, and can not only help LGBT people feel comfortable coming out, but also help others understand the importance of equality and fairness for all people.


         5. What are the ways to be an ally?

        Stay Informed: If you don’t know the difference between sex and gender or current LGBTQIA-related news and issues, educate yourself. Ask questions, do research, and don’t be afraid to be honest about what you don’t know.
          Speak Up: There are many reasons why people don’t speak up when they hear something offensive, like “that's so gay” It can be awkward, people don’t know what to say, or don’t want to make the situation worse. But, words can hurt. When you speak up, it educates others, lets them know their words are not acceptable, and may give others the courage to speak up as well. You can also change how people act in the future. This is powerful.
            Be Honest: Speak openly about family members, friends, and colleagues who are LGBTQIA+, if they are out and are comfortable with you discussing it with others. People often assume they will offend others or make them uncomfortable if they mention LGBTQIA+ topics. Also, remember that occasional disagreement is normal and healthy!
              Support Equality: Support policies at school, work, or other places that help protect LGBT people from discrimination. Even if the issues seem small, they can have a big impact on people’s lives. If you see or hear of an unfair rule or policy, talk to a peer or trusted adult about your concerns and what you can do to make a change.
                Come Out as an Ally: Anyone can be an ally, regardless of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Be proud to support the LGBT community. Remember, being an ally can be joining an LGBTQIA+ group, a student-run group — or as simple as showing your support online

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