How To Be A Good LGBTQIA Ally Beyond Pride Month, According To Drag Race's Michelle Visage

The members of the LGBTQIA community are viscerally aware that their needs, dreams, and vulnerabilities don't disappear when Pride Month ends and the last rainbow-clad sign is taken down. But for allies who, while supportive, don't fully live the experiences of these marginalized individuals, this isn't always as easy to remember. 

That's why singer, actress, and "RuPaul's Drag Race" judge Michelle Visage places a great emphasis on being an ally every month of the year. In an interview with PopSugar, Visage credits the New York drag scene of the '80s and '90s for helping her find her identity, build her decades-long career, and become a supportive mother of a queer child. 

Attending pride celebrations, raising awareness through social media, and uplifting your local members of the LGBTQ+ community are essential (and fun) things you can do as an ally during pride month, but the work doesn't stop there. Striving to be a better ally is a full-time job, and here's how Visage recommends doing the work.

Visage's warm welcome into the drag community

Before she was an award-winning producer, musician, and long-time best friend of Ru Paul, Visage was a recent high school graduate and fresh New York City transplant looking for a community to which she could belong. Visage told PopSugar that she never felt like she fit into a particular group at her New Jersey high school. The first time she felt accepted was among the people involved with the Harlem Ballroom scene in the late '80s.

"At that time, I didn't know anything about these people except that I belonged. I was welcome in as one of their own. It was never any cancel culture, it was never any 'You can't sit with us.' It was always, 'You are beautiful. You are perfect. You are loved. Come with us,'" Visage recalled. 

Visage's experiences in the NYC scene led her to her friendship and professional partnership with Ru Paul, but it also sparked an alliance that would become critical while raising a queer child. "For me, there's nothing more important than securing a future for our kid and the future of all other queer kids who don't have a family to speak up for them. I feel like it's even more of a task to make this world a better place for them in general. But being the parent of a queer child is driving me even more."

How to be a year-round ally, according to Visage

Visage emphasized the importance of year-round allyship toward the end of her interview, citing her ways of supporting the community beyond every June. "I make sure I don't stop talking," she told Pop Sugar. "I don't stop screaming and sharing information and educating. If we do it through hate, we're not going to win, so we have to educate through love. They don't want to hear love, but that's really what we need."

She argued that most of the outrage pointed at the LGBTQ+ community is a distraction from far more dire societal issues like inaccessible health care and a struggling economy, and it's an ally's job to take action against those diversions. "That's all we've got, is our voices. We need to use them to educate, speak up, to not stand by idly while these people do this. Contact your congressman. Show up to town hall meetings. Stand up, march. Don't sit down and just take it." 

In an Instagram birthday post for her "first-born child, Lillie" (pictured above), Visage wrote, "Kiddo, you make your father and I very, very proud, and we fight daily to do our part in attempting to make this world a more welcoming, loving, understanding place so that you and all like-minded people no longer have to struggle or hide." As Visage put it, every month is Pride Month in her household, something that all LGBTQ+ allies should try to embody in their own lives.