POSTED ON June 7, 2020
Happy Pride to ALL Lovers! Let's take a brief look at the history of Pride month, celebrated every June since 1970, and discuss some ideas for celebrating and standing in support and solidarity with our LGBTQ+ neighbors, even if current social distancing practices make it difficult to celebrate together physically.
Pride is celebrated by the LGBTQ+ community and their supporters, allies, friends, and families every June. It started in 1970, as a way of commemorating the Stonewall Riots of 1969, when police raided a gay bar in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, and were met with a violent resistance. The typical hallmarks of Pride month are jubilant parties, festivals, and parades full of people from all walks of life, celebrating, marching, dancing, and being their most authentic selves. These gatherings are also a way of speaking out against the continued injustices against the gay community, and drawing attention to the continued fight for equal rights and equal protections under the law for everyone who identifies under the LGBTQ+ umbrella. So, how can we come together for unity at a time when our country feels so divided, and when social distancing to stop the continuing Covid-19 Pandemic is cancelling Pride festivals all over the world? Read on for some creative PRIDE ideas that you can participate in from the comfort of your couch.
Host a Watch Party:
Maybe you can't celebrate in the streets, but you can certainly gather with friends online to watch and discuss some great LGBTQ-themed films or shows together. Whether you're looking for uplifting, inspiring, enlightening, or just entertaining, here are some ideas of great movies and TV series that will educate and entertain:
- The Death & Life of Marsha P. Johnson (documentary, on Netflix): Explores the death of one of the original queens of New York Pride, often hailed as the thrower of the first brick at the Stonewall riots. Viewed through the eyes of the surviving members of her community still fighting for answers about her potential murder, and seeking justice for the many other murders of trans women that are occurring unchecked to this day.
- Pride (based on a true story, on Amazon): The London gay community begrudgingly embraces that they have more in common than different, and rallies around striking mine workers in 1984 Wales.
- A Secret Love (documentary, on Netflix): Two women have to keep their love a secret for decades, among constantly shifting attitudes about gay people, only to find that coming out later in life is no walk in the park, either.
- Love, Simon (Romantic Comedy/Drama, rent on Amazon): An all too common story of a modern-day teen hiding his true identity from his friends, family, and classmates, until his secret is threatened and he has to own up and come out, ready or not.
- Beautiful Thing (Romance/Comedy/Drama, rent on Amazon): A classic coming-of-age story set in London, as Jamie escapes the bullying of school sports and a tough family, he falls welcomed into the arms of his neighbor, Ste, and a whole new way of life.
- Milk (Biographical Drama, available on Starz): The story of the trials and tribulations of Harvey Milk, the American activist & politician, who fought tirelessly for gay rights and became California's first openly gay elected official.
- POSE (historically-based drama, on Netflix): Based in the late 80s and early 90s, highlighting the underground African-American & Latino LGBTQ Ballroom culture and the "house mothers" that protected and polished their members to help them shine in the spotlight.
- Queer Eye (reality series, on Netflix): An amazing new Fab Five sets out to change the lives of their "heroes", some straight, some LGBTQ+, by making over their home, food skills, culture, wardrobe, and grooming habits. Every episode is uplifting and heartwarming...keep the tissues handy.
- Transparent (Comedy/Drama, on Amazon): An adorably dysfunctional family of adult children has a lot of reconciling to do when their father comes out as transgender. Kind of cringey at times, but so are most difficult families!
- Queer as Folk (drama, on Hulu): Focuses on the lives and loves of a group of gay friends just making it work in working-class Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- Glee (musical comedy/drama, on Netflix): While mostly a campy "high school musical" series, this show never fails to poignantly showcase the struggles of the LGBT students surviving in small town Ohio, then dating, coming into their own, and thriving in college.
Pride festivals usually happen in every major city, many suburbs, and are even starting up in smaller towns all over the country and all over the world. This year, with social distancing due to Covid-19 making the traditional Pride parades and festivals a bad idea, many localities and organizations are moving Pride activities online. Search for virtual Pride events near you on Facebook or through local event publications like the Metro Times or Time Out. You may find things like keynote speakers, Drag Queen game nights, LGBTQ comedians, trivia, DJs spinning so you can dance in your living room, and more. Gather up your circle of queer friends and allies and participate in these fun Virtual Pride events near you.
Fly Your Flag:
Any Pride festival or parade you'd normally be able to attend would be chock full of the many varieties of flags shown below, and maybe more. They all represent different sexual orientations and identities. Many of them are some variation on the rainbow theme, due to the different colors representing the many different types of people that identify as LGBTQ+. The first one was flown in San Francisco in 1978, after the assassination of Harvey Milk, so he is often considered the godfather of this uniting symbol. You can read more about the meanings and history of each flag design here. If you find one that speaks to you and your place on the spectrum, fly it loudly and proudly at home, set it as your cover photo on social media, and do what you need to do to bring awareness to its meaning.
Read All About It!:
Reading is another great way to learn, reflect, and celebrate voices of the gay community. There is so much amazing literature available with an LGBTQ+ focus, but you may never hear about many of these titles unless you really go looking for them. This is a well-cultivated list of LGBT books brought to you by Oprah, created from the personal book recommendations of famous and influential queer authors, based on the books that really changed their lives and helped them embrace their identity. Find a title that speaks to you and add it to your quarantine reading list!
Spend your Money Proudly:
We recognize that this is a difficult financial time for many, but if you are able to donate, there are many great LGBTQ+ nonprofit organizations that do great work with any money you can spare to help them. CharityNavigator has a great list here to help you decide which organization speaks to you. You can also do your best to purposefully shop LGBTQ+ friendly small businesses (look for shops & restaurants flying rainbow flags, or find a list of your local spots online), Queer-owned Etsy shops , and sex-positive, inclusive adult stores like Lover's Lane. Our Romance Specialists are open and welcoming to all sexual orientations and identities, and we strive to constantly update and grow our product selection to keep the interest of all singles, all couples and ALL Lovers! <3 We can't wait to help you celebrate PRIDE in style!
While this year's Pride celebrations may have to be a little more low-key than usual, every bit of attention that can be brought to the movement through these Pride-at-Home actions is one step closer to equality and acceptance for all. While we have come a long way in this country in terms of both gay rights & civil rights, we obviously still have a long way to go. We will continue to maintain hope, keep the faith, march for justice, and VOTE like our lives depend on it, because in many cases, it really does. One day soon, we trust and believe that we really ALL will be treated as equals. Black Lives Matter, and Love is Love is Love is Love is Love.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay PROUD of who you are!
~The Intimacy Advisor