June is Pride Month! This month is a time dedicated to celebrating and supporting the LGBTQ community. Whether you identify as LGBTQ or are an ally, everyone can join in the celebration of love. It’s great to attend a parade and dress in your best rainbow clothing, but it’s also important to engage in ways that can make a lasting impact!
Here are some great ways to celebrate Pride Month:
1. Donate time or money to LGBTQ organizations
There are lots of organizations that advocate for LGBTQ folks. These organizations do everything from fighting for LGBTQ rights and offering health services, to providing education grants and managing emergency helplines. These organizations need your donations of money and time. So donate or volunteer! The Trevor Project, PFLAG, True Colors, Family Equality Council, GLAAD, and The National Center for Transgender Equality are just a few of the amazing organizations you can get involved with.
2. Support LGBTQ businesses
It’s so important to shop smart and buy local, and there’s no better time than Pride Month to start supporting local businesses owned by LGBTQ folks. Looking to participate in Pride while on your summer vacation? Check out these 12 LGBT-friendly Hotels in the US! Even better than that, here are 20 queer and lesbian owned businesses for you to spend your money at. Not only will you find rad products, but you will also be supporting local communities. It’s a win-in!
3. Learn about the issues
Whether you identify as LGBTQ+ or not, it is so important to understand the issues that impact this community. The ACLU has a comprehensive list of legislation that affects LGBTQ rights around the country. Find out about the laws in your state and fight against any discrimination in your community. In addition to legislation, an important issue facing LGBTQ folks is mental health. 48% of LGBTQ youth have seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months, versus 13% of heterosexual youth. Anxiety, depression, PTSD, and substance abuse are also more prevalent among LGBTQ adolescents. It’s so important to educate yourself on these issues and to find out how you can help.
4. Read LGBTQ Lit
It is essential to add some LGBTQ authors to your reading list, especially during Pride Month. There are so many amazing queer authors out there telling incredible stories. Not sure where to start? Here are 50 queer authors talking about the best LGBTQ books of all time! Get your summer reading on with wonderful books that include everything from humorous essays by David Sedaris to a heart wrenching graphic novel by Alison Bechdel.
5. Understand the history of Pride Month
Pride Month is about so much more than rainbow flags and colorful parades. It is also about recognizing and remembering the struggles that LGBTQ folks have faced throughout history. The Stonewall Riots, which took place in New York City in June of 1969, was a launch pad for the Gay Pride Movement triggering protests and demands for equal rights. A year later, the first Gay Pride parade took place. It is so important to remember our history. We are able to celebrate Pride Month today because of the fight and struggle of all those who came before.
6. Keep celebrating even after Pride Month ends
Everything included on this list is something that you can do every single month of the year! Pride Month is about love, acceptance and being proud of who you are. So whether it’s at a pride parade cheering on your favorite drag queens or at home trying to decide what book to read before bed, you can celebrate and support the LGBTQ community every single day.
Pride Month is a time to celebrate the LGBTQ community, and learn about the struggles that LGBTQ girls face and how we can support them. Raise awareness about LGBTQ Teen mental health!
Elizabeth Endara is a writer, advocate, doula, educator and cat mom based in NYC. She loves Great British Bake-Off, Eastern Europe, snug coffee shops and writing about her feelings. She is the co-founder of a feminist blog called Release the Women, and she is excited to be working with liveyourdream.org helping to curate and tell stories that demonstrate the power of women!