Welcome to Pride Month!
I feel tremendous joy and gratitude about the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community to my personal world and beyond. At the same time, I’m acutely aware that we’re living in a strange and dangerous time. Too many are openly hostile toward the LGBTQ+ community — a hostility sanctioned, endorsed and perpetuated by our country’s previous administration. As Pride Month begins, I’m thinking about the meaning of being a straight, cisgender ally as my country takes its early steps to emerge from the Trump era.
Entering LGBTQ+ Pride Month, I pledge to treat every month as Pride Month.
While resistance against bigotry is vital, I fully celebrate Pride Month, because the heart and soul of Pride have nothing to do with Donald Trump, Mike Pence, or any of their followers.
As I celebrate, I’ll respect that Pride Month is not about me or for me. It’s my moment to support others, and their moment to shine.
I offer equal support to those who are completely out, partially out and not out. For those who don’t feel safe coming out, please know that even if we’ve never met, I’m a part of your safe zone of acceptance.
If I see anyone being bullied, I’ll step in. If I’m afraid, I’ll still step in.
I’ll honor the people whose lives have been stolen, with the black trans population at particularly high risk.
I’ll continue to write my resistance against the policies that target people for being themselves, the values that threaten the rights that should be inalienable.
I’ll welcome people who want to become allies, but don’t know how. If you have questions or concerns, feel free to reach out. There’s a place for you.
I’ll remain open to learning. Through the past few years, I’ve become comfortable with the singular pronoun “they.” I’ve expanded my definition of “gender identity” to be much more inclusive. I’ve let go of what I now consider a rigid definition of a “female body” or a “male body.” A body is a body, and how each person defines his/her/their relationship to that body is highly individualized. I no longer view “male anatomy” as strictly male, or “female anatomy” as strictly female. The person owns the body and defines the body, including the gender of the body. I’ve learned to make no assumptions about gender identity based on appearance; I offer my own pronouns, ask for people’s pronouns, and accept without judgment. I’m ready to learn more, and I’m grateful to everyone who has helped me along the way.
If I make a mistake, I’ll apologize. I’ll try to do better.
I’ll ask questions, starting now: Anyone of any gender and any sexuality — do you want to add something that I’ve missed? Feel free to comment.
Finally — to everyone on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, I see you and accept you. You enrich our world every day. And to my LGBTQ+ friends — I can’t imagine my life without you.
Happy Pride Month!
Novels By An LGBTQ+ Ally
Hollywood High: Achieve The Honorable deals with homophobic bullying in high school, and follows a girl’s journey after she comes out to her family. The story tracks a group of diverse high school friends as they confront homophobia in themselves and others, and find individual paths to becoming allies.
Tightwire follows a rookie psych intern through her first year of clinical training, treating a stormy and talented young man who ran away from the circus to find himself. The story tracks a strong friendship between two men, one gay and one straight. Two other key characters are a lesbian couple, raising two children, who become role model parents to the main character. This novel is about the importance of becoming your full self.
Hollywood High: Achieve The Honorable and Tightwire have both been on Amazon’s Top Rated List for LGBT Literary Fiction.
Click here to check out Amy’s novels on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Amy-Kaufman-Burk/e/B00R0S66Y4%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share