Written by Michele Wheat
Pride month is a big occasion for LGBTQ+ people. It's a time to celebrate individuality, come together as a community, and talk about important issues that affect people's lives every day. Pride doesn't have to be confined to June, though: It can be celebrated all year long in a variety of different ways.
1. Research the History of Pride
Pride has a long, rich history filled with many stories of brave individuals who fought for equal rights in the past and continue the fight today. Researching the history behind Pride is a fantastic way to educate yourself and celebrate the accomplishments of those who have advocated for equality.
- Educating yourself about the issues that LGBTQ+ people have faced in the past can help you to better understand the progress that has been made and honor the efforts of those who have fought for change.
- Celebrating the historical figures of the LGBTQ+ community can help us to appreciate where we are today.
2. Go to a Pride Parade/Event or Plan One
Pride events are fun, lively gatherings and the perfect place to show your pride! Pride parades are most common in the summertime, and they are planned in many major cities as well as small towns. Outside of June, Pride parades may be scarce, but Pride events can happen anytime and can even be planned yourself.
- You can invite your LGBTQ+ and ally friends and family for a get-together indoors during the winter months or host a Pride picnic in the spring. The possibilities are endless: Just about any fun event can become a Pride celebration!
- Check with your local libraries, parks, and community centers to see if they have any Pride events planned or if they would be interested in hosting one in the future.
3. Wear Your Pride With Clothing, Wristbands, and More
The LGBTQ+ community has a variety of different flags and symbols that represent different sexual and romantic orientations and gender identities. The rainbow flag is also a popular symbol among queer people and can be worn by just about anyone, allies included.
- Wear shirts, pants, a wristband, jewelry, a hat, or any kind of apparel you want in the colors of the rainbow flag or the colors of whichever pride flag(s) you most identify with.
- Showing pride this way also signals those in the LGBTQ+ community that you are a safe and accepting person, which can help queer people feel more at ease.
4. Donate to/Volunteer With LGBTQ+ Organizations
LGBTQ+ organizations are always in need of donations and volunteers. Some of these groups advocate for equal rights, while others focus on queer youth, who often face homophobia and/or transphobia that can cause poor mental health and even lead to homelessness. These organizations aim to help LGBTQ+ people by providing them with resources, shelter, counseling, and financial support.
- Volunteering can make a big difference in how one of these organizations runs, as they are often short-staffed and can use all the help they can get.
- If volunteering isn't an option, donating any amount you can is a great way to give back and support the LGBTQ+ community.
5. Watch LGBTQ+ Movies and TV Shows
Watching movies and TV shows that include LGBTQ+ characters can help queer people feel seen and validated while helping allies to better understand the range of experiences of those in the LGBTQ+ community. Consuming queer media also helps to signal to big entertainment companies that there's a market for shows and movies that include LGBTQ+ representation.
6. Read LGBTQ+ Literature
Another form of entertainment that can take the role of educating and entertaining LGBTQ+ and ally audiences is queer literature. Books written by queer authors are often underrepresented on bookstore and library shelves, which can deprive people in the community of positive LGBTQ+ role models.
- Reading literature that includes LGBTQ+ topics and characters can educate allies about queer experiences while providing LGBTQ+ readers with material that they can identify with.
7. Decorate Your Home
Decorating for Pride is easy and fun. Pull out some rainbows, put up some flags, and display any Pride items you may have! This could be in the form of a rainbow flag in your window or something more subtle, like a set of couch cushions in the colors of a pride flag or a painting in these colors hung on the wall. The choices are boundless, and the way you choose to show your pride at home is up to you.
8. Support LGBTQ+ Businesses
Whether you're buying items to help you celebrate Pride or just doing your regular shopping, make sure to keep queer-owned businesses in mind. LGBTQ+ business owners can have a lot to offer, and since they can sometimes face prejudice that harms their business, it's good to give them your support when you can.
9. Create Artwork and Crafts
With all of the colors involved in Pride, it's no surprise that a great way to celebrate is with arts and crafts! Try grouping up with friends to paint or draw pictures of LGBTQ+ characters or symbols. You might also create stickers, sculptures, jewelry, or other types of creative works using a rainbow of colors or the color scheme of a particular community's pride flag. There's no wrong way to create art: Use all of the creativity you have to show your pride through your artwork!
10. Keep the Conversation Going
One of the most important parts of Pride is to keep the conversation going. For a long time, the LGBTQ+ community has been hidden away and forced into silence by the majority. A lot of progress has been made toward equality, but there's still a ways to go. It's vital to keep talking about these issues as the fight for equality continues.
- Never be afraid to show your pride or speak out when someone tries to silence you or someone you care about.
- Take the time to support the community, either as a part of it or as an ally, and keep the dialogue going for those closest to you.
More Ways to Celebrate Pride