7 Ways To Take Action During Pride Month 2018
June is Pride Month, y'all — a time of celebration, solidarity, and action wherein rainbows, glitter, and parades abound. Our LGBTQ communities have fought valiantly for hard-won gains in recent years — like the Supreme Court's decision to legalize gay marriage nationwide in 2015 — and though the current political administration seeks to undo these gains, Pride month is a time to celebrate the wins, and come together in solidarity. Whether you're marching yourself, or showing up as an ally, there are plenty of ways to take action during Pride month this year (and, TBH, all year round).
Celebrated each June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots in 1969, Pride Month is a time to uphold our key values of love, acceptance, education, and awareness, while remembering the struggles and victories in the ongoing fight for LGBTQ equality and visibility worldwide. Pride Month is about everyone: no matter who or how we love, or how we identify, Pride is about reveling in the diversity of the community, and taking action in the face of intolerance, misinformation and ignorance. No matter what your plans are this June, there are many ways to take part, and no action is too small. Here are here are seven powerful ways to take action for Pride Month. And remember, solidarity in June is great — but action and support year-round are what it's all about.
1. Volunteer At Local Pride Events
Volunteering at local Pride events is a fantastic way to show your support this June, and there are so many ways to help. Your best bet is to do a Google search for Pride 2018 in your town or city, and check out available volunteer opportunities: booth vendors, and office, parade, and media volunteers all help make Pride events possible. You can find volunteer opportunities with Pride NYC, San Francisco Pride, Boston Pride, and Toronto Pride, among countless other cities worldwide.
2. Host A Pride Party
Pride celebrations go way beyond parades, and hosting a Pride party is a great way to show your support while decking your halls with some fabulous decorations to boot. Out Traveler notes that while the perfect playlist and finger foods are key to a memorable Pride party, it's also "important not to lose sight of the meaning of the celebration and what it truly stands for." Ask your friends to bring $5 to donate to a local Pride event, or an LGBTQ community center nearby.
3. Donate To Your Favorite LGBTQ Organization
Groups like The Trevor Project, GLAAD, or Trans Lifeline work tirelessly year-round to provide life-saving resources, support LGBTQ communities, represent LGBTQ voices in media, and shape equality-promoting policies — and they all rely on volunteers and donations to keep operations afloat. Donating to your favorite LGBTQ organization is a powerful way to show your support, and, if funds are tight, consider volunteering your time. You can also check out the 2018 LGBTQ Pride Month Charity Navigator here.
4. Celebrate Pride With Social Media
According to Social Media Today, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have added new tools in celebration of Pride month. Facebook is adding "pride-themed text backgrounds for news feed posts," and new masks, stickers, and effects are rolling out on Facebook Camera, while Instagram is offering new rainbow versions of mention, location, and hashtag stickers in Stories. Use these tools to amplify your support of Pride this month.
5. Call Your Reps
Calling your legislators to advocate for protections against LGBTQ discrimination is a powerful way to voice your policy concerns and values. According to The New York Times, when the phone calls come flooding in, legislators listen: "A phone call from a constituent can, indeed, hold more weight than an email, and far outweighs a Facebook post or a tweet," The New York Times reports. Remember that even if you leave a voicemail and don't speak to your representative directly, those messages do get passed along. For more info, you can check out more tips for how to call your representatives here.
6. Host A Pride 2018 Movie Night
Hosting a Pride-themed movie night is an excellent way to center LGBTQ media and films, get some quality social time in, and encourage education and visibility. Movie nights are a great for examining LGBTQ representation in media (the good and the not-so-good), and getting some productive discussion going — while centering stories that better represent LGBTQ communities. Check out Live Out Loud's guide to hosting a movie night here.
7. Support LGBTQ Businesses & And LGBTQ-Friendly Companies
Voting with our dollars is a key way to show up for communities, lend support, and demonstrate our values. Simply choosing to use an app like Lyft, which allows you to round up the cost of your ride and donate the excess to Human Rights Campaign, can be a small but significant change. Seek out LGBTQ-owned businesses in your local community, or LGBTQ makers on platforms like Etsy or Patreon, to put your dollars to work while you're shopping for things you need anyway.
While cultural progress is ongoing, showing up and taking action during Pride Month is key to keeping the momentum of positive change rolling, while working together to create a world where all are free to love, identify, and be just as we are. And remember, support and advocacy go way beyond the parades and parties in June; our efforts are needed all year long to ensure a safe and inclusive culture for all of us — now and for generations to come.