Pride month is finally here: 30 days dedicated to commemoration, solidarity, and celebration. But don't you worry — even if you can't make it to an event, or you're quarantining at home, there are still plenty of ways to
support the LGBTQ community.
It's important to remind yourself (and your peers) that Pride is about
a lot more than showering yourself in glitter, taking rainbow Instagram pictures, and dancing your way through a parade. It marks the anniversary of the historical Stonewall Riots of 1969, celebrates the acceptance of all members of the LGBTQ community, and both recognizes and aims to bring awareness to struggles these individuals continue to face in the name of equality.
As our current political administration continues to attempt to undermine the LGBTQ community's victories, Pride is an opportunity to come together in support, and elevate marginalized voices in the name of love, tolerance, and understanding. It is more significant than ever for
allies of the community to demonstrate their support through tangible action, even if you can't make the parade or the party. Here are eight ways you can continue to contribute, even past the month of June — all year round.
It's one thing to call yourself an "ally" to the LGBTQ community, but what does that actually mean? While it's great to say something, it's also important to
do something. And one way to begin is by attending an ally training.
Visit organizations such as the
Safe Zone and find an ally training near you. This is a free online resource that will increase your awareness through training courses, including everything from day-long intensives, to 45 minute vocab lessons.
Take the time to learn about the LGBTQ community in a historical, contextual lens, and find out how you personally can benefit the community by practicing active listening and other actionable advice.
If you want to be an ally, own it by learning more.
Support An LGBTQ Organization
Do you feel like you don't have the bandwidth to aid the LGBTQ community in all the ways you wish you could?
Well luckily for you, organizations like
GLAAD, NCTE, and GLSEN, and Victory Fund are putting in the hard work and dedication year-round to provide incredible resources to community members in need, advocate for those who are being silenced, map out policy, champion representation in the media, and more!
If you can't attend the Pride celebration in person, and/or simply want to do more, donate to help fund and support their great work.
Purchase A Product That Actually Benefits The LGBTQ Community
Another way to support the community is by purchasing a product that not only benefits you, but also donates proceeds to benefit an LGBTQ organization.
There's a lot of Pride gear available that includes a
donation along with purchase to organizations like GLAAD and The Trevor Project, so you can hang out in style with items from Asos, Torrid, Lululemon, and more. You can also check out some makeup from Sephora, including hair dyes and lip balms, which support the LGBTQ community.
Can you say win-win?
Volunteer At A Local Shelter
Want to go one step further than just monetary aid? Try starting from the ground up. Visit
The Trevor Project, an organization crisis intervention for young members of the LGBTQ community, some of whom have runaway from home. This non-profit offers a national 24-hour, toll free confidential suicide hotline, among other mental health resources.
You can personally make a difference by donating your time. The Trevor Project has a
volunteer program for those 18 and older, which includes working as a crisis counselor via digital messaging.
Depending on where you are in the country, you may also be able to volunteer at local shelters, cook meals for those in need, work at summer camps, and so on. It may not seem like much, but every bit of positive action helps.
Raise Your Voice On Social Media
Do you have a social platform — whether that means Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook? Don't remain silent. Use what power you have to voice your support of your LGBTQ peers and elevate the voices of others.
Consider retweeting posts about Pride from GLAAD or publications like
Them. Share organizations you've been donating to so others can join in. Raise your voice, and use the internet to spread awareness, educate, and celebrate.
Call Your Representatives
And if you're not just picking up the phone to tweet out your support, use it the old-fashioned way and make an actual phone call.
Call your legislators and advocate to protect members of the LGBTQ community against discrimination. Voice your support for policies and legislation that values and safeguards members of the community and their rights. Even if you leave a voicemail, it can make a huge impact — your message will be passed on.
You can also
start petitions of your own, or sign those already in existence, like this one demanding justice for Muhlaysia Booker, a trans woman who was killed in Dallas, Texas.
Support LGBTQ Businesses
Use Your Privilege To Elevate The Voices Of Others
Above all, if you're an ally to the LGBTQ community,
remember not to make Pride all about you. Use your privilege to elevate the experiences, narratives, and messages of those who aren't in the same position — those who have been marginalized, repressed, and historically ignored. If you consider yourself a friend to community, do what you can to serve it: throughout June, and 365 days a year.
Pride is an important moment of reconciliation — a time to reflect on your identity, your privilege, and your contextual experiences. Use it to empower yourself and others, and give your LGBTQ friends, family, and peers the emotional love, support, and space to express themselves. Celebrate unconditional and unequivocal love.