Showing pride in who you are and what you stand for is unequivocally important. This June, we celebrate the pride each member of the LGBTQ community should, and 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 year 1991, Pride shifted to become more of a celebration of people's lives and sexuality. If you're looking for ways to celebrate Pride, but can't make it to the parade this year, don't fret. There are still plenty of opportunities to get in on the festivities.
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 is scheduled for June 25, and will take place right where it all began — the Stonewall Inn. Last year's march had more than 350 unique contingents and 80 floats. If 2017's huge increase in activism is any indication, I wouldn't be surprised if this year easily topped those numbers.
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. If you can't make it to the NYC Pride march or one in your area, but want to get involved, don't worry. There are plenty of ways to show your support besides attending a parade. Read on for ways to celebrate Pride if you can't make it to the parade.
Volunteer to help other LGBTQ+ people https://t.co/QH3XAx8gP6 Together we can make a difference!— LGBT advice+updates! (@LGBT_updates) June 21, 2017
The National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that 41 percent of respondents had attempted suicide at some point in their life. This is 25 times higher than the general population. When faced with experiences such as rejection from their families, bullying in school, and sexual assault, that number jumped even higher. Ten to 20 percent of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals have reported attempting suicide. On top of that, it's believed that LGBTQ youth make up between 20 to 40 percent of the homeless youth population. With this in mind, consider volunteering at an LGBTQ organization, a suicide hotline, or a homeless shelter.
Have some extra money you'd like to put toward supporting the LGBTQ community, but don't know where to donate it to? There are many organizations out there looking to better the lives of LGBTQ individuals. Live Out Loud, Human Rights Campaign, and Drag Queen Story Hour are just a few great ones. Check out more options here.
Just bought myself an Apple Watch Pride Band. :D pic.twitter.com/BuzCyHz0S5— Pup Wiggles (@PupWiggles) June 21, 2017
Another way to donate is through shopping. There are many products currently out that support LGBTQ organizations. Companies such as Everlane, American Eagle Outfitters, and Levi's have rolled out fun, Pride-themed merch for you to buy. Bonus: Not only are you helping out, you now have a visual item to show your support any day of the year. Check out this Pride-themed Apple Watch band too.
A 2015 study by the New England Journal of Medicine followed 4,268 students from fifth grade to tenth grade documenting how much more likely it was for a lesbian, gay, or bi-sexual student to be bullied. The research concluded that these students were 91 percent more likely to be bullied than their heterosexual counterparts. If you see someone being bullied or put down for who they are, say something. If you see online harassment taking place, 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.
5Start A Local March
If you live too far to reach a march, but want to go to one anyway, consider starting your own. Even if it's you and a few of your friends parading down the street, it will make an impact and could inspire others in your town. Not sure if there's a Pride march near you? Check out the calendar here.
6Watch It Live
For the first time, the New York City Pride march will be broadcast live on ABC from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tune in to catch all of the action. This is incredibly important when you think about kids at home who might not believe anyone will accept them. Seeing the action live can encourage them that there are many out there who will.
7Share 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, even on your social media, it could be an inspiration to others and a reminder to always be true to yourself.
Pride is a very important time to remind the entire world that we all matter equally, no matter who we love or how we identify. Celebrate who you are, and have a great time.