The catalyst for Pride occurred in 1969, known as the Stonewall Riots. Fifty-two years later the movement is often promoted as glittering celebrations. Or used as click-bait to sell/entice viewers. For those who are a part of the LGBTQAI+ community, Pride is a time to celebrate how far they've come, bring awareness to, and continue the fight. With progress has come the popularity of series and films featuring LGBTQAI+ characters. This same popularity causes some viewers to feel like they are another box to be checked off, especially during the month of Pride.
Past media coverage of Pride has fostered the perception that Pride is all about the parties. In other months that celebrate ethnicity/race/cultures/groups, there is a purposeful focus on history, contributions, and movements. In the case of Pride, there is a disconnect; which, makes it easier to write it off as a frivolous event. A chance to dress up in outrageous outfits. While Pride is an opportunity to express oneself, the media's focus on this aspect of the events negates Pride’s origins and continued importance to lasting change.
Series and films like Pose, Sense 8, Moonlight, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and Euphoria are changing this misconceived notion of the LGBTQAI+ community and Pride. These series and films offer varying viewpoints of the community. Giving many viewers outside the community their first opportunity to see an aspect of themselves within LGBTQAI+ characters.
While these strides are great, mainstream media still chooses to overlook the entirety of the LGBTQAI+ community and misrepresent Pride. What can the mainstream media and other streamers do to aid in this shift?
First, stop the segregation of content featuring LGBTQAI+ characters. They are not a category. Treating people like categories discounts one's experience and fosters the perception that those experiences should be regulated to one month out of the year.
Two, share different experiences within the LGBTQAI+ community. Not everyone experiences the same trials/triumphs. Like all communities, this one is NOT a monolith. There are many untold stories, invest in them.
Third, be an actual ally. Support is more than boosting content that features characters from the community once a month. Actual support advances the needle of change. Boost the community throughout the year, donate to charities, hire LGBTQAI+. Any of these changes will assist in the effort towards equality.
Looking for ways to be an ally. Check out these organizations and donate/share their stories. National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network.