June is Pride Month–the time of the year in which we celebrate, commemorate, and honor the sacrifices and achievements made by members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
First recognized in 1969, Pride Month has come a long way in the 54 years since its inception. But there’s still a lot of work to be done.
Roughly 7% of the U.S. population identifies as LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual, queer, intersex, asexual, + many other terms–like non-binary or pansexual). That means if you’re in a room with 14 people, there’s a very good chance one of those people identifies as LGBTQIA+.
To acknowledge and raise awareness of Pride Month, let’s take a moment to review some ways you can contribute to a more tolerant, accepting world–and show your support during Pride Month!
54 Years of Pride
In the years since the infamous Stonewall Riots–the genesis of Pride Month–the month of June, and Pride Month especially, have grown in visibility. At the same time, public attitudes have shifted progressively–but there’s still a lot of work to do.
A study from 2020 found many members of the LGBQIA+ community still felt discrimination in their personal lives, in the workplace, in the public realm, and even in health care.
That discrimination carries over–negatively impacting the physical and mental well-being of those affected. Nearly a fifth of those surveyed stated that discrimination had a noticeable effect on their psychological well-being.
Nearly half of survey participants admitted to hiding an intimate relationship due to fear of judgment or discrimination. Another one-third of those surveyed said they have altered part of their lives to “fit in”.
Those data tell a compelling story. It’s time to stand up and put an end to discrimination–for any reason.
Let’s examine some ways you can stand up for the LGBTQIA+ community and show you support acceptance and love for everyone.
How to Show Your Support
How do you show your support for Pride Month?
Do you put a rainbow filter on your social media profile picture? Do you wear a rainbow shirt or fly a rainbow flag in your front yard for the month?
Aside from being intolerant or discriminatory, there is no “wrong way” to show your support for Pride Month.
The easiest way to show your support for LGBTQIA+ folks is to simply be respectful of everyone and anyone you interact with. Most people don’t wear their orientation on a sticker like a nametag, so best practice is to treat everyone like friends or family–it’s not difficult to smile and be polite and respectful!
Another way to get involved is to educate yourself. The best allies are those who have a solid understanding of the issues that affect those they support. Take the time to talk to people with other life experiences and vantage points, consume topical content, and learn the terminology and correct language.
One of the most impactful ways to show your support is to volunteer in your community. Whether it’s a financial donation or the gift your time, sweat, and effort, it will help create a more inclusive, inviting, welcoming space for everyone–not just members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Don’t just be an ally–be an advocate.
Get educated, get involved, and help make a difference this June and show your support for Pride Month!
Local Pride Month Events
There are lots of ways to show your support on a personal level, but you can also get involved physically, with a number of local events planned throughout the month. Let’s learn about a few!
If you missed out on Pride Week from May 31st-June 5th (or if you participated and want to get more involved), there are a number of fun-filled activities and things to do.
Third Annual Hamburg Pride in the Park: Sunday, June 11th. 11:30 am – 5:30 pm. Free admission for all. Hamburg Memorial Park–59 Lake St. Hamburg NY.
Third Annual Oliver Street Pride Fest: Saturday, June 17th. 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Free admission for all. Heritage Park–Oliver St. North Tonawanda NY.
Pride Pool Party: Saturday, June 17th. 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Admission starts at $25. Tappo Day Club–140 Chandler St. Buffalo NY.
Rainbow City Pride: Saturday, June 24th. 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Free admission for all. Old Falls St. Niagara Falls NY.
For more info and events, go here.
Pride is For Everyone!
How you choose to get involved and show your support for Pride Month is up to you. As long as you’re respectful, tolerant, and accepting, you’re doing it the right way.
Take it a step further this year and become an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community. Educate yourself, involve yourself, and let’s make our world a better place!