Embracing Pride: Best Ways to Support the LGBTQ+ Community this Pride Month
By Ari H on June 28, 2023
June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month for most of the world’s developed countries. Across the globe, LGBTQ+ people, allies, and their loved ones celebrate their identities, relationships, culture, and heritage with parades, campaigns, parties, and more. You may have also noticed that many major corporations use Pride Month as an opportunity to create merchandise or marketing campaigns that leverage iconography and slogans. This commodification of pride, often referred to as “rainbow capitalism,” isn’t a bad thing. It helps to bring queer imagery and language into the mainstream, representing a major step toward consistent representation and normalization. However, this Pride Month, I encourage you to actively support the LGBTQ+ community directly to strengthen our efforts toward acceptance. Below are some great starting points!
Numerous global, national, and local foundations are dedicated to the safety, equity, and inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community. Direct donations or volunteer efforts can have the greatest impact on the community. You can easily find many of these foundations through a quick Google search, but here are three of the largest LGBTQ+ foundations.
The Trevor Project is dedicated to suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth and provides crisis hotlines, counseling, and peer connection through its website, which is accessible worldwide. It is also a valuable resource for education about the LGBTQ+ community and how to be a supportive ally. You can donate directly, volunteer, or encourage local businesses to partner with the project to expand its reach.
GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, was founded during the AIDS epidemic and moral panic of the 1980s that targeted the LGBTQ+ community. They are dedicated to securing accurate and positive representation for LGBTQ+ stories in global news and entertainment, as well as advocating for equal treatment and safety under the law. You can make direct donations, start your own fundraiser, purchase their pride merchandise directly, or even discover local efforts through their social media pages.
PFLAG was founded in 1973 and is the first national organization committed to educating, supporting, and advocating for LGBTQ+ people and their loved ones. You can join or create a local chapter, donate directly, participate in the online community, or engage with the organization’s educational tools, such as the LGBTQ+ Glossary.
Support Queer-Owned Businesses!
While companies like Target have started involving queer artists in their merchandise and marketing campaigns, directly supporting local or small queer-owned businesses is a much more impactful way to support the community and honor the historical role of artists within it.
The organization Everywhere is Queer offers a global map of queer-owned small businesses, along with job postings and an application process for businesses to to be featured on the map. You can easily filter for the specific category of business you’re interested in, such as creatives, restaurants, farms, or retail stores.
Social media platforms are also excellent resources for discovering global or online queer-owned businesses. TikTok, Instagram, and even Tumblr are full of independent queer artists seeking customers. Here are some of my personal favorites:
HeyColanda sells handmade tees, totes, stickers, and jewelry featuring fun slogans and subtle sapphic iconography.
SoftPunk sells bags, patches, clothing, and stationary for queer punks, created by queer punks.
Both& Apparel creates clothing specifically designed for transmasculine or masculine-presenting individuals, taking into consideration the challenges of shopping for menswear with an AFAB body.
Be a Safe Space!
I consider myself lucky to be out and supported by my family, friends, and community. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ+ people who may not have that luxury. If you are able to safely do so, be a safe space for these individuals. With the rise of anti-drag, anti-trans, and anti-gay legislation being proposed or enacted nationwide, the need for safe spaces is more critical than ever before.
Educate yourself using online resources (such as those provided by PFLAG and GLAAD) or explore history books, documentaries, and other media! Understanding the history, terminology, and current realities of the LGBTQ+ community ensures that you comprehend the challenges we face and the actions you can take.
Stay informed about current events. Keep up with legislation, educational policies, and media actions that target or disadvantage the community. Being aware of the ongoing struggles of the community ensures that you enter queer spaces with an informed perspective.
Be mindful of your role in queer spaces. Learn from the lived experiences of others and lend a supportive ear to those who need it.
Above all, be kind, respectful, and genuine. Show the LGBTQ+ individuals in your life that, you love them and you are there for them. Offer a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, a place to stay, or anything else you can provide. A little can go such a long way.
And as a final reminder: we’re still here after Pride Month ends! Support the LGBTQ+ community year-round in any way you can. Hopefully, this article has provided a starting point from which you can embark on a journey of impactful allyship.
Thank you Sharon V for editing this article!