As a straight person, Pride month isn’t about me. It isn’t about the LGBT people I know or rainbow flags or the corporate goodwill projects of the companies I shop at. 

It’s not even about love really— at least, not in the fetishized emoji hearts and rainbows way. It’s about people, in this country and beyond, who encounter prejudice, hate and physical violence every day, and their right to exist without persecution.  Making Pride month solely about love romanticizes a historically violent fight for equality. As with so many things, we’ve come far, but there is much work to be done.

The past year, I’ve watched my little brother come out to friends and family with a mix of relief and trepidation. He’s lucky enough to have an incredible family for whom nothing changed. He is still our same son, brother, nephew that he’s always been. But we live in LA, in liberal California, and I know that this is not everyone’s experience. 

My heart breaks to imagine Rusty being treated differently at work, at the store, at a concert, planning his wedding. I’d do anything I could to protect him from that. But supporting a community isn’t about supporting the people you know in that community and turning a blind eye to the rest. It means being an ally, for every single person, and standing up for them and stepping in when you witness injustice. 

As a straight person, Pride month isn’t about me and my voice shouldn’t be the loudest, but it should be present. This month, and every month, as a sister, a friend, a stranger, an ally.