How to Celebrate Pride Now — and All-Year Round
The fight for LGBTQIA+ rights isn’t an annual event. Here’s how to lend ongoing support.
The month of June marks the celebration of Pride in many cities across the globe, but the occasion hasn’t always been about the joyous parties, parades and festivities we associate it with today.
It began as a protest — or more accurately, a riot — against unjust belief systems and a desperate fight for equal rights for the gay community (which is now the more inclusive LGBTQIA+ community — lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning, intersex, asexual).
The History of Pride
On June 28,1969, the police stormed the Stonewall Inn — a bar that was a safe haven for gay New Yorkers. Police raids of bars were not uncommon at the time due to a city liquor law that deemed “the gathering of homosexuals to be disorderly.” As the police began arresting bar patrons, violently forcing them out on the street and into cop cars, the crowd decided to fight back and the confrontations continued over several days.
The following year, thousands marched from Christopher Street to Central Park in what became the first gay pride parade. Every year since, that spirit of resistance has erupted into a celebration of individuality and a continued fight for equality.
Progress is Not Perfection
Where we are: Same-sex couples can now legally get married in all 50 states, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals can serve in the military and laws banning homosexual activity have been overturned. Despite these meaningful strides, the LGBTQIA+ community is still marginalized and in danger. Twenty seven trans individuals have been killed from January to May this year alone.
So while you’re celebrating (and you should!), don’t forget the importance of supporting and championing the LGBTQIA+ community 365 days a year.
Read on for resources and organizations that can help.
Mental Health Resources for the LGBTQIA+ Community
There is a great disparity within marginalized communities when it comes to mental health, particularly for those who identify as LGBTQIA+.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, LGBTQIA+ adults are “more than twice as likely as heterosexual adults to experience a mental health condition. Transgender individuals are nearly four times as likely as cisgender individuals (people whose gender identity corresponds with their birth sex) to experience a mental health condition.”
Below, organizations that offer mental health resources and support:
Organizations to Support:
- GLAAD: The leading source for fair representation of the LGBTQIA+ community in the media
- GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality: Works to ensure fair and equal healthcare for both LGBTQ individuals and healthcare professionals
- The Human Rights Campaign: National organization working towards equality for LGBTQIA+ Americans
- Immigration Equality: Immigrant rights organization helping LGBTQIA+ and HIV positive immigrants in the U.S. and around the world find safety and fair treatment
- LGBTQ Freedom Fund: Posts bail for those held in jail or immigrant detention
- National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
- The Okra Project: Supports Black trans folks by providing home cooked, healthy meals
- SAGE an organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ elders
- Services & Advocacy for LGBT Elders: Dedicated to advocating for the lives of our LGBTQIA+ elders
- The Trevor Project: A charity dedicated to helping LGBTQIA+ youth in times of crisis
For Further Education:
- Disability After Dark
- Hoodrat to Headwrap
- Les Talk Podcast
- Lez Hang Out!
- Making Gay History
- Still Processing
- We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle
In the mood to jam to some tunes? Here’s Nikko Medina’s Pride Playlist of favorite gay anthem songs and music by queer artists.
- All Boys Aren't Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto by George M. Johnson
- All My Mother’s Lovers by Ilana Masad
- Fairest by Meredith Talusan
- Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
- Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
- High School by Tegan and Sara
- Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
- Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing by Lauren Hough
- On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
- Rebel Chef by Dominique Crenn and Emma Brockes
- Sissy by Jacob Tobia
- Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
- This Is A Book For Parents of Gay Kids by Dannielle Owens-Reid and Kristin Russo
- Tomorrow Will Be Different by Sarah McBride
- Torch Song Trilogy by Harvey Fierstein
- Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle
- We Are Everywhere by Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown
- When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri
- With Teeth by Kristen Arnett
- “History of Gay Rights” — History
- “Map Shows Where It’s Illegal To Be Gay – 30 Years Since WHO Declassified Homosexuality As Disease” — Forbes
- “Queer Elders Tell Us About the Stonewall Riots, and How Their Lives Changed After” — Them
- “What Is Pride Month and the History of Pride?” — Them
Want to be a good ally? Read “An Ally’s Guide to Terminology.”
Movies and TV Shows:
- Blue is the Warmest Color
- Boy Erased
- Dead to Me
- Feel Good
- Happiest Season
- Kiss Me
- Never Have I Ever
- Paris Is Burning
- Rafiki Just Came
- Saving Face
- The Handmaiden
- The L Word Generation Q
- The World to Come
These lists are by no means exhaustive — we will continue to add to it.