If you're looking for ways to celebrate Pride, but can't make it to a parade this year, don't fret. There are plenty of opportunities to get in on the festivities, and feel a part of the community — from home.
Showing pride in who you are and what you stand for is unequivocally important. And that's why, every June, we celebrate the pride each member of the LGBTQ community deserves to have. Pride was created in New York in 1970, a year after the Stonewall riots. Originally, it formed as a way to take a stand against the oppression of LGBTQ individuals and highlight their need for protection.
In the 50 years since, Pride marches have become incredibly popular throughout the country in cities ranging from Boston to Chicago to Los Angeles to Detroit. The New York City Pride Parade — one of the largest events — was cancelled this year, due to COVID. But that shouldn't stop you from gathering, even if it's virtually, to show your support.
We are one world, and we all deserve the same rights. Whether you identify as LGBTQ or not, it's crucial to show up for Pride and stand up for each other. So, even though your local parade is likely cancelled this year, there are still plenty of ways to get involved, and have a great time. Read on for ways to celebrate Pride if you can't make it to the parade.
1. Find Ways To Volunteer
According to The National Center for Transgender Equality, one in five transgender people in the US has faced discrimination when seeking a home, more than one in ten have been evicted from their homes, and one in five have experienced homelessness — and this disproportionately effects youth.
With this in mind, consider volunteering at an LGBTQ organization, such as a suicide hotline like The Trevor Project, which caters to young LGBTQ adults. Once you train as a crisis counselor, you'll answer chat messages or texts from young people who are struggling with issues such as coming out, LGBTQ identity, depression, and suicide.
2. Donate To Non-Profit Organizations
Have some extra money you'd like to put toward supporting the LGBTQ community, but don't know where to donate it? Search for one of the many organizations out there looking to better the lives of LGBTQ individuals.
Some great ones to consider include Live Out Loud, a nonprofit that inspires, nurtures, and empowers LGBTQ youth to build a successful future by connecting them with positive role models and great experiences in the LGBTQ community.
There's the Marsha P. Johnson Institute (MPJI), named for a Black trans woman who was a key figure in the Stonewall uprising. MPJI defends the human rights of Black transgender people.
You can give to The Center for Black Equity, an organization focused on the education, engagement, and empowerment of the Black LGBTQ community.
And another great space is the Human Rights Campaign, which works to defend the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. But those are just a few of the many charities you can donate to during Pride month, and beyond.
3. Spend Your Money Wisely
If you're going to buy something during Pride month, why not buy from a LGBTQ-friendly retailer, or a business owned by a member of the community?
Consider purchasing from the Feelmore Adult Gallery, Oakland's only black-AFAB-owned sex shop, grabbing some merch from Bloom & Plume Coffee, or scooping up something cool from the many other Black LGBTQ small businesses.
Many larger companies are also offering Pride merch, so you can not only show your support monetarily, but also through a cool outfit.
Converse has some amazing rainbow sneakers available, ASOS has an entire casual wear section dedicated to Pride, and you can get all the Pride makeup you need from Sephora — so you can get decked out, even if you aren't planning on leaving the house.
4. Use Your Voice
A 2015 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine followed 4,268 students from fifth grade to tenth grade, and documented how much more likely it was for a lesbian, gay, or bisexual student to be bullied. The research concluded that these students were 91 percent more likely to be bullied than their heterosexual counterparts. So, what can you do to help?
If you see someone being bullied or put down for who they are — perhaps in a comment section — respond and defend. Show that person that they have a friend who will support them and recognize them for being amazing just the way they are.
You can also use your voice on your own social media platforms to share news, and connect your friends and followers with ways to help support the LGBTQ community — while also speaking up yourself.
Consider calling your elected officials to see where they stand on federal legislation, participating in letter-writing campaigns, or collecting signatures for ballot measure campaigns.
5. Get Together With Friends Virtually
If you can't make it to a parade, or are choosing to stay home for health reasons, consider hosting your own Pride event virtually. Get your friends together via Zoom, watch your favorite LGBTQ movie, or just hang out. It won't necessarily be the same as marching down the street while waving a giant rainbow flag, but it will still be fun to get together and celebrate.
6. Watch Other Pride Events
For the first time since 1970, the New York City Pride Parade won't be happening. But there are dozens of other virtual events you can view from the comfort of your couch. The New York Times has released a list of 2020 Pride events, which includes a 24 hour Global Pride livestream on June 27, featuring world leaders, royalty, pop stars, and drag queens.
NYC Pride is also holding a virtual rally on June 26 from 5pm to 8pm ET. Ashlee Marie Preston, the first transgender person to openly run for state office in California, will host along with Brian Michael Smith, a transgender actor.
San Fransisco's Pride will be held virtually as well on June 27 and 28, and is set to include 13 hours of live and prerecorded musical performances. Los Angeles Pride will be sharing a parade for 90 minutes on ABC7, as well as online, on June 27.
And Chicago Pride Fest will livestream on June 20 and 21 to show off the city's LGBTQ community, and is set to include. performances by LeAnn Rimes and The Vixen.
7. Share Your Story
If you are a member of the LGBTQ community and are able to share your story, doing so can be an incredibly powerful tool to help those still struggling with fear of not being accepted. If you feel comfortable enough to tell it, perhaps on your social media, it could be an inspiration to others and a reminder to always be true to yourself.
You can also support others who are sharing their stories by following LGBTQ activists and artists on Instagram — like Vivek Shraya, Gabrielle Alexa, and Makenna Misuraco — reading books written by queer authors, and if you're an ally, simply being there for friends who are coming out.
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