5 Ways to Celebrate Pride During COVID-19
Queer people celebrate Pride in many different ways. While in some places, especially cities, the most visible element of Pride is often a parade of floats and rainbows, the month is about so much more. In June, LGBTQ people remember those that fought to walk the streets openly and safely, to love and marry who they want, and to work and live without fear of retribution. The queer community also speaks out against the injustices that they still come up against, such as the disproportionate amount of violence faced by transgender people.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most in-person, public pride celebrations can’t go forward, but that doesn’t mean that the LGBTQ community can’t—or shouldn’t—continue to celebrate and speak up. Here are five ways to get involved in June and beyond.
1. Organize Online
A recently popular social media post reminds us that the first Pride was a riot. Continue the long tradition of activism by learning about and supporting causes that benefit the queer community. Check out the Audre Lord Project for upcoming events on topics such as strategies to organize around HIV/AIDS. Southerners on New Ground also have a variety of online events to keep people politically engaged and activated.
Learn about a new movement, which just celebrated it’s second year, Sex Ed For All. Sex Ed For All focuses on the sexual health information, access, and rights young people need and deserve in order to make healthy decisions for themselves and live life on their terms. It advocates specifically for young people who are part of traditionally marginalized populations, such as LGBTQ youth.
2. Join an Online Pride Event
The feeling of belonging to a large and close-knit community is impossible to ignore standing shoulder to shoulder along a parade route and cheering at passing floats. We may not be able to experience that this year, but a number of places are coordinating online events to celebrate Pride Month’s 50th anniversary.
- Global Pride
- NYC Pride’s The Rally
- Boston Pride
- San Francisco Pride
- Seattle Trans Pride
- Pride Live’s Stonewall Day
3. Add Diversity to Your Life
Diversify your Instagram feed by following some of these really cool, queer people of color:
Diversify your bookshelves by reading some of these funny/powerful/all around amazing books:
- The Gilda Stories
- Juliet Takes A Breath
- The House You Pass on the Way
- The Color Purple
- Life is Wonderful, People Are Terrific
- Don’t Let Him Know
4. Explore Telehealth Options
Queer people use birth control for a variety of reasons such as preventing unplanned pregnancy and reducing period pain, just like straight people do. And simply because we’re all maximizing our time at home and limiting social contact doesn’t mean we no longer need our birth control. For a while now it’s been possible to get non-prescription methods of birth control online and have them delivered to your home. The pill, patch, shot, and ring are all available via telehealth. Learn which telehealth services are available in your area and check them out.
5. Take Care of Your Reproductive Well-Being
Reproductive well-being means that all people have the information, services, and support they need to have control over their bodies and to make their own decisions related to sexuality and reproduction throughout their lives. Take some time to take stock of your reproductive well-being and evaluate what you need to improve it.
STI rates are rising among LGBTQ people, especially among gay and bisexual men. Some STIs, such as HIV or herpes, have no cure. And while others such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis do have treatments, it’s possible to catch them as many times as you're exposed to them. This is why using condoms (the only form of birth control that protects against STIs) is important! While they’re sold nearly everywhere, if cost is a concern there are also places that give out condoms for free.
If you’re interested in finding a LGBTQ-affirming therapist or counselor there are a number of resources to help. Q Chat Space provides an informal setting to talk with others. The National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network has national directories available to search as does Psychology Today. For immediate crises you can also call or chat the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255), The Trevor Project (866-488-7386), The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender National Hotline (888-843-4564), or the Trans Lifeline (877-565-8860).
For young people still figuring out where they are on the spectrum, take your time and check out resources such as The Trevor Project’s Coming Out Handbook. This guide covers not only basic questions like “what is gender?” and definitions of terms like sexual orientation and sexual attraction, but also has a slew of important advice on how to come out to the adults in your life. We believe that #TalkingIsPower. Ask a family member, or a trusted health provider, teacher, or mentor to talk to you about sex, love, and relationships. You can find even more resources to have these conversations on our Teen Talk page.