How to Celebrate Pride Month Safely During the COVID-19 Pandemic
As the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Pride Month will have to look different from any Pride that came before it. It may be hard to envision the physical celebrations and community spaces of Pride in this new normal. Luckily, there are still ways to honor the lives and victories of LGBTQ+ people this month while remaining socially distanced.
Here are a few suggestions to get started:
1. Consume LGBTQ+ Art
One of the most powerful ways to challenge stereotypes about LGBTQ+ people is to seek out their stories. Additionally, work by LGBTQ+ creatives helps those in the community see themselves reflected in the media that shapes our everyday lives. You can support LGBTQ+ artists, writers, filmmakers, and musicians this month—and every month. In particular, prioritize the voices of people of color, who are especially marginalized within the community.
These are some recommendations that scratch the surface:
- Pose: This groundbreaking TV show tells the story of underground ball culture, which first gained notice in New York in the 1980s. The cast is made up almost entirely of Black and Latinx LGBTQ+ people.
- Rafiki: This film exploring the romance between two young women amid political pressures limiting LGBTQ+ rights was the first Kenyan film to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival.
Looking for more? You can work through this list of films representing queer and trans people of color (QTPOC) or this list of poetry books by queer writers of color released this year.
2. Get Informed on Effective Allyship
In the context of social justice, an ally is someone who fights alongside marginalized people for their rights. More than ever, we all need to see the struggles of LGBTQ+ people as everyone’s problem to solve. However, some allyship can be performative — meaning its main purpose is to signal a certain virtue, rather than effect change. As such, allies must strive for effective rather than performative allyship.
Some ways to begin being an effective ally include:
- Using respectful language when discussing LGBTQ+ people and issues.
- Listening to and making space for our LGBTQ+ voices rather than taking the spotlight.
- Equipping oneself with some best practices for LGBTQ+ allies.
- Showing up for Pride and elevating LGBTQ+ people year round.
3. Donate to LGBTQ+ Organizations
Amid the ongoing public health crisis, it’s never been more crucial to give financial backing to the organizations you believe in. LGBTQ+ organizations, which serve people who are more likely to be experiencing poverty and instability during the pandemic, are especially in need of your support. Here are just a few organizations doing the work for LGBTQ+ community members:
- LGBTQ Freedom Fund: This nationwide organization posts bail for LGBTQ people in jail and immigration detention.
- Shade Literary Arts: This literary nonprofit empowers and expands literature by LGBTQ authors of color. Their COVID-19 relief fund for LGBTQ writers of color is accepting donations here.
Want to make an impact closer to home? Local organizations are sometimes better able to understand the immediate needs of the people they serve. This list of local emergency funds assisting LGBTQ+ people during COVID-19 is a great starting point.
4. Support Your LGBTQ+ Coworkers
Pride doesn’t end when you get to the office. In fact, you can take steps to make sure LGBTQ+ people feel seen and affirmed in the workplace. Make a difference for the LGBTQ+ people at your company by:
5. Encourage Your Company to Make an Impact on LGBTQ+ Communities
Starting to make a difference for LGBTQ+ communities is easier than you may think. For instance, through Visit.org, you and your team can support LGBTQ+ performers hit hard by the pandemic. During this activity, you can bring the team—and the whole family—together for a virtual children’s storytelling hour performed by a drag queen. From the safety of home, you can stay connected in this time of quarantine and actively practice empathy this Pride month.
As with all Visit.org activities, 100% of proceeds will go directly to a nonprofit or social venture dedicated to making the world better. Happy Pride!
It’s long been time to get serious about supporting LGBTQ+ people. Engaging your team in conversation and celebration for Pride is an important first step. Book your team experience today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.