As the month of June approaches so does a vast number of other things-- summer jobs, summer plans, new adventures. What June also means is our nationally recognized and celebrated Pride Month. But this is more than just parades and rainbow flags, there is a whole history that needs to be shared. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has a brief article about the pride since 1970. In addition to this history, here are some amazing ways to celebrate Pride Month!
1. Attend a Parade
If your city itself doesn't host one, there is probably one near you. Check it out! You'll have an amazing time and be completely overwhelmed at the amount of support your local area has!
2. Support local businesses that support the LGBT+ community.
This is something I learned about recently--many places are compiling Gay and Lesbian Yellow Pages where you can search and see local businesses that support and serve the LGBT+ community.
3. Read a book that supports LGBT+ Visibility.
Today we have more and more books (YA especially) that take special notice of LGBT+ characters. If you're not sure about where to look check out some online blogs for recommendations! Some of my favorites are epicreads and even buzzfeed! In addition, local libraries might even have displays highlighting books for Pride Month (I know mine does)! Some of my personal recommendations are Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin (if you're interested in knowing more about genderfluid check it out), If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (featuring a transgender protagonist) and The You I've Never Known by Ellen Hopkins (featuring two Bisexual/Questioning protagonists).
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4. Know Resources!
Chances are your local area has a pride center: If you're in Western New York/Erie County check it out here. Other resources include GLAAD, HRC, and PFLAG (just to name a few).
5. Learn what LGBT+ is all about
Chances are you know what LGBT stands for, its the plus that everyone gets a little lost on. What exactly does the plus include? It can be completely confusing but there are so many available resources to educate yourself. I found a great online article that's calls itself a "Comprehensive* list of LGBTQ+ vocabulary definitions" In addition there's also a resource guide a book out called A Guide to Gender by Sam Killermann.
6. Be a Rad Ally!
There's only so much you can read online or in books. Chances are you either know someone who is a part of the LGBT+ community, you are someone who is part of the LGBT+ community or both! If you aren't but know someone who is, talk to them. Different people need different things for support. Sometimes it can be as easy as using the right pronouns for a friend, but you have to ask to know what your friends need from you.