June 28, 2020, marked the 50th anniversary of New York City’s Pride March, the first official LGBTQ Pride celebration to be held in the U.S. Despite the importance of this anniversary, many cities and organizations were forced to cancel, postpone, or alter their 2020 Pride Month events due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, however, organizers across the country have devised unique ways for people to pay tribute to LGBTQ pioneers, enjoy community, and advocate for equal rights while reducing the chance of infection. Amid a year of social upheaval, including increasing attempts by state legislatures to restrict transgender rights in schools and athletics, LGBTQ people and their allies have many options for promoting equality in June and beyond.
Ways to celebrate LGBTQ Pride in 2021:
Attend a virtual Pride Month event
Some cities and organizations have opted to reschedule their annual Pride parades and traditions for later in the year, while others have designed June events that allow for social distancing. For those people who would like to stay home, there are a plethora of online options for participating from afar.
NYC Pride, the nonprofit organization that runs the city’s annual Pride traditions, is hosting
a virtual rally on June 25 to honor victims of anti-LGBTQ violence and to mark the fifth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando that took the lives of 49 innocent people. Attendees will learn how to advocate for Black Trans Lives and more. Indy Pride, which promotes LGBTQ equality in Indiana, will hold a virtual festival on June 12 that will include options for interactive education, celebration, and shopping as well as an online film festival. More information about these and other Pride events held by groups across the U.S. can be found at Eventbrite.com/online/pride.
Decorate and display
As anti-LGBTQ sentiment and violence continue to be prevalent in communities across the nation and the world, displaying LGBTQ pride and support can send a powerful message. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently overturned the Trump administration’s ban on Pride flags at U.S. embassies and consulates overseas. A growing number of corporations and nonprofits now exhibit their support of the LGBTQ community through advertising and merchandise. Similarly, many religious groups, government entities, and schools have heeded the call to issue statements in support of LGBTQ equality.
For LGTBQ individuals and allies, there are multiple options for publicly exhibiting pride and support. Individuals can display Pride flags, signage, and decorations at home and in the workplace. During the month of June, many clothing brands offer special Pride gear, often with a portion of their proceeds going to LGBTQ nonprofits. And of course, these and other LGBTQ associations sell clothing and merchandise for those who want to display solidarity while supporting their cause year-round.
Advocate and volunteer
Everyone has something to offer when it comes to fighting for LGBTQ equality. Local groups and associations require the dedication of hundreds of volunteers to successfully organize Pride events each year. National LGBTQ nonprofits such as GLAAD match individuals with volunteer opportunities that suit their abilities and interests, while organizations such as the Trevor Project train volunteers to directly support LGBTQ people in need by operating suicide hotlines and more. The Human Rights Campaign and many other advocacy groups empower individuals to campaign for LGBTQ protections. For those who are short on time, donating to LGBTQ organizations and supporting pro-LGBTQ legislation and policies are great options for making a difference. Visit glaad.org/resourcelist today to find diverse LGBTQ nonprofits in need of assistance.●