OUTvoices overlay navmenu

Discover Your City

June is LGBTQIA Pride month, and our community will celebrate with festivals, picnics and interfaith services. For many, the festivities include cracking open a cold beer (or beers) on a hot summer day and cocktailing the night away on the dance floor.

If you choose to drink, do so responsibly with these guidelines:
Have a plan before you start. Carry only enough cash for a predetermined number of drinks (for example, four drinks = $20), and leave the credit and debit cards at home.
Know how you’ll be getting home before you leave the house.
Postpone your first drink.
Be sure to limit your intake to one drink per hour.
Buy your own drinks. This helps you maintain control of how much alcohol you consume.
Refrain from participating in group rounds of shots. When groups drink together, everyone follows the pace of the fastest drinker, which makes it easier to lose control.
Drink plenty of water, with a 1-to-1 ratio. For every serving of alcohol, drink an equal serving of water.
Track how much you drink during a specific time period.
Eat every couple of hours to help your body absorb the alcohol.
Enlist the help of friends, and watch out of each other.
Know your limits, and share those with your friends.

For others, maintaining sobriety from alcohol and drugs during Pride celebration is particularly challenging. Pride is about our community coming together to include everyone. If you have a friend or friends committed to sobriety, respect their decision not to drink and support them as they make other choices.

If you are in recovery and want to take part in Pride events, consider these suggestions:
Attend an AA meeting or similar support group before attending Pride.
Attend events with friends who understand and support your recovery.
Carry a non-alcoholic drink with you at all times. Others will be less likely to offer you a drink or ask whether you are drinking in the first place.
Practice your reasons for not drinking in case someone asks. The more confidently you share your reasons, the less likely it is that they will try to influence you.
Remind yourself why you chose sobriety.
Know your triggers for drinking using HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired).
Have a plan to leave in case you become overwhelmed and feel vulnerable.

Pride is for everyone in our community, regardless of how we choose to express it. Whether to drink or not drink is a choice. Just like we want others to respect our choices, we must respect theirs.

Enjoy everything our community offers during Pride, and support those who choose to celebrate differently.
Kyle Danner is an organizer for the LGBT-Affirmative Therapists Guild of Greater Kansas City. He received a master’s degree in counseling and guidance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

How to talk about transgender issues

So how do we talk about transgender issues (even if you're not transgender)? There are three main things to remember when discussing transgender issues today, so before getting into the meat and potatoes of it all, let's keep these things in mind:

  1. It is not a political discussion, it is a human rights discussion.
  2. There is a rich history rooted in transgender rights that must be considered when discussing these issues.
  3. Humanization should always be at the forefront of the conversation.

Before going into any conversation, no matter who it's with, try to keep these things in mind before you say something that may be inappropriate, misguided, or just plain wrong. Even those with the best intentions can mess up; remember that it is always ok to admit when you do not know something or when you are wrong. That being said, let's get into it.

sign with a 'friendly for all genders' image showing a person in a wheelchair, and a person with half a dress and pants on.

Transgender bathroom bills

commons.wikimedia.org

So whether you choose to become a transgender activist or if you just want to be a better ally, this easy talking point will generally keep you in line and on the safe side of conversations while still putting forth the effort to encourage and better represent transgender rights.

Easy, all-around approach: This will work for almost all transgender issues and expand on the previous three rules; firstly, trans issues are not a debate. When discussing with someone, do not indulge in hypotheticals and always remember that transgender people are the exact same as anyone else, with the exact same feelings. Keeping this in mind, let's use the bathroom bill as an example. When discussing this issue, one should humanize, de-politicize, and normalize the conversation. How does one employ this, though? Here is an example of how the conversation may go.

Person 1: I don't want men in the women's restroom, they will rape my daughters.

So this statement is clearly based on reactionary conversation perpetuated by anti-transgender ideals. This means that the person probably has a misconception of the history and oppression of transgender people. They also show concern for their family, which is a step towards humanization, despite the misconception. Here would be an appropriate response that helps to humanize, de-politicize, and normalize the conversation.

Person 2: I don't want men in the women's restroom, either, which is why we need to make sure people who identify as women are using the women's restroom. There has never been a documented case where a transgender person has raped either a man or woman in a public restroom. And by forcing people to use a restroom that does not match their gender identity, it is promoting violence, as there is a strong history of physical violence against transgender people.

By only saying about three sentences, you are able to do the previous steps while discussing the issue in a civil manner without opening it up to debate. The key to this is to keep it short and sweet, stating both the truth and an ally's stance to support the transgender community. It's critical to make sure that what you say is backed with confidence, though, which is why this second approach is more encouraged as it gives the person speaking more confidence in their opinion.

gif of a man in a suit talking about number 1. Number 1 GIF by PragerU Giphy

The second approach: backed by facts and history, is the exact same as before, but this approach leaves the other person with more questions about their stance and gives them something to consider. Before going into this approach, however, it is important to keep in mind that you are not debating the existence of trans people, nor are you trying to change someone's mind. That is not the goal; the goal is simply to get your opinion across in a way that honors both the trans community and their ideas. Let's take the same example as before but add the new sentiments.

Person 1: I don't want men in the women's restrooms, they will rape my daughters.

Person 2: There has never been a documented case of a transgender person raping anyone in a public restroom, and the only published cases of such were proven to be false. Further, when people say things like this, they are perpetuating violence against transgender people, which has historically (and still does) oppressed and insight further physical violence against them. And honestly, the most common reason there is this stance is because the person typically does not know a trans person and may not even know a person who does know a trans person. But the truth is, they probably do. The probability is more likely that the transgender people around them are just not comfortable enough in the environment to come out and speak up about their gender identity. And yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it is quite sad that some people's opinion does not invite civil discussion but instead incites violence.

This approach is more confrontational, which requires more confidence when using it in a conversation, but it still holds true to all of the previous rules and sentiments. It adds truth based on history, which is an important aspect of trans rights as it reminds people of where we were/ where we are currently with human rights. These ideas can be transferred to most all trans issues and will honor the transgender movement and your allyship. The last thing to keep in mind is the person or reason you are standing up for/with trans rights. The passion -the compassion will shine through in conversation if you keep your reasoning close to heart. Whether it is because of a transgender friend, family member, or just because of your moral values, if you put your emotions into your reasoning, it will create more compelling statements, especially if the statement is well versed with the facts.

Tips to Remember When Discussing Transgender Issues

  1. Transgender issues are not political, they are human rights issues
  2. There is a rich history behind transgender issues
  3. Humanize transgender people through our words and ideas and don't forget to include:
    • 3(b). The facts
    • 3(c).The confidence
    • 3(d). The inspiration behind the support for transgender rights

10 LGBTQ+ Movies on Amazon Prime You Need to Watch

OUTvoices may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.
Photo courtesy of Amazon Prime

LGBTQ+ Movies on Amazon Prime


Keep reading Show less

Transgender Sign in Pride Parade



Keep reading Show less