Yes, it’s June. That means it’s PRIDE Month! But that should just be the start of a year-round celebration of your love, pride and regular observances and festivities with your partner, friends and family. We have a great tradition of celebrating groups of people and their histories for a month, which is a wonderful practice, but you can find countless ways to LIVE YOUR LOVE LOUD AND PROUD 365 days of every year!
We’re happy to help give you a few suggestions to keep your PRIDE celebrations rolling right into July! Fittingly, we hold up July as our month to celebrate our independence, so it’s only right that it should acknowledge and commemorate your right to love whoever you are meant to love and share your life with privately, publicly, intimately, daily. One of the most powerful ways to make every day of every month PRIDE Month is to study, investigate and reflect on the history of LBGTQ+ rights and achievements.
So, this summer whether you’re swinging on a hot beach or chilling on your back porch swing, here is a fairly comprehensive list of books about a range of “must-read” LGBTQ+ topics. Here’s a shorter list of powerful books about queer history. And here are a few recommended great and highly informative reads:
In an article about even more great reading selections, Christine Burns, author of Trans Britain, says “Having access to the history of people like yourself is essential for both individual mental health and happiness but also for political and social emancipation.”
Of course, there are many times that you might just want to kick back and check our an engaging or stirring film with your loved one or friends from the Rotten Tomatoes list of 200 Best LGBTQ+ Movies of All Time such as We Were Here (2011) about the crises facing the gay community in the 1980s or A Secret Love (2020) about a former baseball player who keeps her lesbian relationship a secret from her family for seven decades or How To Survive A Plague (2012), a documentary about activists who fought for action to fight the AIDS epidemic.
If you want to increase and enhance your viewing pleasure, you can peruse Rolling Stone’s 40 Great LGBTQ TV Shows to Stream Now where you’ll find popular programs like “Betty,” “Billions” and “Elite.” Break out your favorite drinks of choice, a little popcorn, or go old school with some favorite fondue recipes to share with friends and your loved ones.
In addition to enjoying yourself or fortifying your knowledge and understanding of a rich and deep history of love that you and your partner can treasure every day, look into donating to LGBTQ+ organizations. There are few better ways to celebrate the strength, resiliency, power and beauty of the community.
“Activism is the epitome of celebrating the queer community as it not only allows you to get involved with an organization that you care about or are interested in what they’re doing for the community,” says an article in Shutterfly about Pride from May “But it’s an easy way to support and celebrate all year round. Choose an organization that works with the issues close to your heart. Remember, you can donate money, food, and even knowledge. Whether you’re shopping for a good cause, volunteering with LGBTQ+ organizations and nonprofits, or showing your support to these organizations on social media platforms, there are many ways to support the work of people fighting for the advancement of transgender and gay rights.”
Every day of every year, you can share the numerous ways that all couples can openly and romantically love each other and be your authentic selves. You can CHOOSE LOVE in a whole range of ways that you do during PRIDE Month long past June, from going on special date nights that you prearrange when you find yourself working too hard and too long and not spending that same amount of quality time with your loved one that you should.
You can BRAG and BOAST about your love. Anytime. Anywhere. Grab a few close friends and family members and take them out for a drink or a meal and tell them you’re there to celebrate your love, in public, with them! Make sure the evening features an ample amount of public displays of affection and kissing!
Just like we put our American flags for Memorial Day or the Fourth of July, you can rock your Rainbow flag any day of the year. In fact, you have a whole choice of flags to clearly and proudly show your PRIDE. There is a wide range of flags that represent different sexual orientations and identities. If you’d like to learn more, you can read The Complete Guide to Every Queer Pride Flag.
Even if, for whatever reason, you need to be more discrete about your love, there are still ways to honor and acknowledge your love and pride and stay safe. In his article for VICE, “How to Celebrate Pride Quietly When You Aren’t Totally Out,” S. Bear Bergman provides “ideas for things you might do to mark Pride and keep yourself safe at the same time (please do this, we need you alive and well to dance again another day).”
“Use your best judgment about your safety based on what you know about the people around you—what they will notice, how much surveillance there is—and pick some the items you feel pretty certain will fly under their radar while you’re there, (very quietly) queer, and fabulous,” he says.
No matter how you choose to celebrate your love – quietly and privately or LOUD AND PROUD – the important point is to focus on the love you share with that special person in your life. That love is what will bring you happiness and purpose and open the door for both of you to live your life to the fullest together. What else could be more important? What else could give you both more PRIDE?