2020 has been a year full of many cancellations, postponements, and emotions that arise during times of loss. Another big loss being faced is in the LGBTQIA+ community, where for the first time in 50 years, Pride events all over the nation are being canceled or being held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. Due to restrictions, Pride Month events and parades are not able to take place in-person – a sad loss in the community as June has been the time to commemorate LGBTQIA+ identity, freedom, and the expression of love and gender. Especially in our home city of New York, Pride Month is a primary part of the calendar year and greatly celebrated to honor vulnerable and sexually oppressed communities.
Though many in-person Pride Month events are canceled, we encourage our New Yorkers to still take time to celebrate and reflect on how to honor the LBGTQIA+ community. Whether you’re queer yourself or an ally, here are some ways that you can commemorate Pride Month despite the change of plans in this year’s typical celebrations.
1. Attend a Virtual Pride Celebration
There are many unique opportunities to celebrate Pride in NYC which can be found here. Events range from the NYC Pride Parade Broadcast Event (taking place June 28th on the 50th anniversary of the March), Conferences, Rallies, Workshops, Festivals, and Town Halls. The NYC Pride has done a beautiful job to put together resources to virtually advocate, educate, and celebrate with the goal of an inclusive and equal future without discrimination.
2. Use Your Voice to Take a Stand for LGBTQIA+ Rights
Amplify your voice to impact the course of our history and take a stand for the LGBTQIA+ population. Make sure you are registered to vote in the upcoming elections so that you can help the LGBTQIA+ community and fight for their rights. Additionally, use your voice to have conversations with those around you about how they can also use their voices and privilege to better oppressed communities and serve as an ally. It is also important to assure that you and those around you are using LGBTQ+ inclusive language in daily life and the workplace. Remember to also be an active listener and hear the experiences of those you know in the LGBTQIA+ community while asking how you can best use your voice to support them. Here is a tool hosted by GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) to register to vote and check your registration status.
3. Educate Yourself About LGBTQIA+ History
This past month, we have watched the nation educate themselves and learn about racially oppressed populations which have been transformative for our society catalyze change. Similarly, sexually oppressed populations have a long history of unfair treatment and social scrutiny. Take time to learn about LGBTQIA+ leaders and activists so that you can know how to make a greater difference as well as educate those around you.
4. Donate To LGBTQIA+ Organizations
Research on LGBTQIA+ nonprofits and organizations that you can put your resources toward to make a difference in the life of sexually oppressed communities. Your money can go toward necessary resources, advocating for legislative change, facilitating research, and continuing the fight for equal rights. Common organizations that you can put your donations into are GLAAD, The Trevor Project, Human Rights Campaign, National Center for Transgender Equality, and LGBTQ Freedom Fund.
5. Support LGBTQIA+ Businesses
Search LGBTQIA+ owned businesses and support them in their organizational mission. Many businesses are flooded with owners who are heterosexual, and only a minority of businesses are owned by sexually oppressed communities. Since historically, the LGBTQIA+ population has not been encouraged to follow their dreams, empower them in business endeavors, and support their passion.