By Rishabh Bhandawat
June is Pride month, the annual celebration of the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally. It’s a great time to recognize your LGBTQ+ peers’ contribution, learn a little bit more about LGBTQ+ history, celebrate diversity, and consider how you can contribute to creating a more inclusive society.
This year pride looks a bit different, with Pride parades canceled all across the world in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Still, this positive energy has been traded to fuel the unprecedented momentum of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Whether it’s directed towards sexual or racial liberation, Pride month is a great time to reflect and build from its historical roots to support the fight for equality. A significant characteristic between the two movements is the intersectionality apparent in both communities. Black communities also include LGBTQ+ individuals, and the LGBTQ+ community includes Black folks.
We should celebrate the trailblazing contributions of the LGBTQ+ community towards equality, amplify these efforts in bringing racial inequality to light, and support our queer people of color (QPOC). Your support for Pride and #BlackLivesMatter movement supports the elimination of disparities within the queer community itself. QPOCs stand at a higher risk disease, poverty, homelessness and even murder. The marginalization that Black people face is compounded even more by the discrimination faced by being queer. You are not taking away from one movement by also supporting another.
Here are a few things we can do to celebrate Pride month this year.
- Educate yourself & be an ally
Do you know why we celebrate Pride month in June? Spend some time learning about the history of Pride; a movement precipitated by the Stonewall Riots in 1969 in New York. This blog by Buffer is great resource for LGBTQ+ ally ship.
- Support LGBTQ+ and Black-owned business
The Black queer community is the Backbone of Pride month, and this blog by Huffpost highlights a few Black queer-owned business that you can support by purchasing their products and/or sharing their business on social media.
- Consider your organization’s LGBTQ+ Inclusivity
Start a dialogue and make resources available to try to create a workplace where LGBTQ+ employees will feel valued and accepted.
- Volunteer or donate
Give back to the community through a volunteer initiative such as supporting a local LGBTQ+ youth or community center or raising money for a charity/foundation such as the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.