June is a time to celebrate a lot of awesome and even iconic things. On the awesome side, we’ve got the unofficial start of summer, the sun being out more, and graduations. On the iconic side, we’ve got some seriously vibrant celebrations like Pride Month.
Time-honored since the New York City Stonewall Riots of 1969, Pride Month takes place throughout June to commemorate the LGBTQ+ rights movement. This June, in particular, marks the 51st celebration of Pride Month. It’s a time for millions around the world to come together in support of the movement by taking part in well-known events, such as Pride Parades, races, and festivals.
Last year these events looked a little different with the pandemic, but things are looking up in 2021. While many of those events will resume as planned, there are countless other ways to show your allyship and support for the LGBTQ+ community—even if you’re just celebrating from home.
To kick this June off colorfully, let’s talk about some ways that individuals and businesses alike can recognize the month and celebrate Pride:
1. Get educated
Create educational opportunities for yourself, your employees, and your business. First, make sure that you’ve taken some time to learn about the history and importance of Pride and the LGBTQ+ movement that the Stonewall Riots sparked. Whether you’re reading books, listening to podcasts, or watching specials on Netflix, take some time to familiarize yourself with this month and the community. Here are some resources that you might find helpful:
- The Trevor Project
- Service and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)
- Straight for Equality
- National Center for Transgender Equality
2. Promote an inclusive work environment
At Advertise Purple, this one really resonates with us. Since our inception, we’ve made it a priority to create and promote an open work environment and dialogue. We do this through the celebration of our team’s diversity, recognition of important cultural moments, and inclusive hiring policies. Diversity and inclusion give so much to our company that promoting equality is a vital part of our culture.
With a lot of businesses still working from home, work environments have varied from living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchen tables. With some businesses slowly starting to return to the office, however, a welcoming and open workplace is paramount. Implementing inclusive work policies that prevent discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals is a great place to start. Making LGBTQ+ resources available to your employees is another solid way to foster a feeling of belonging.
3. Have conversations with LGBTQ+ elders
Reach out to SAGE (link above) to connect with older LGBTQ+ folks. Something to remember is that volunteering can look so diverse. When you get in touch with these elders, really listen to their stories and give them the space to be heard. Celebrate these pioneers, let them share their experiences and ask about what they want out of the LGBTQ+ movement. Hearing what they have to say is an important insight into not only where the community has been in the past, but its future as well.
4. Offer your time to community centers
LGBTQ+ community centers are important places for people in this community to find a sense of belonging and connection. To get involved and provide your support to these safe havens, think about lending your time and skills to volunteering. To find centers in your area, check out this link.
5. Share your story
Perhaps one of the most powerful ways to take part in Pride Month is by telling your own story—if, and only if, that’s something that you’re comfortable with. This could simply look like you telling the people in your life what your identity means to you. Sharing your experiences can be very impactful as it not only shows solidarity but also acceptance to others in the community.
6. Support LGBTQ+ art and culture
The LGBTQ+ community has a deep lineage of artistic endeavors. Artists like Frida Kahlo and Andy Warhol, among many others, have served as inspiration for queer artists creating their art today. The stories of LGBTQ+ people have been displayed for decades via modern art. Supporting their vibrant art community and culture is a creative way to show your allyship. Think about visiting an LGBTQ+ art gallery, seeing an LGBTQ+ movie or show, or listen to an album by an artist in the community.
Although Pride Month only spans the month of June, it’s always the right time to zone in on diversity, inclusion, and allyship. I hope one of these ideas inspires you to get involved this month! Happy Pride!