*No rainbows or bright makeup required
Rainbows aren’t really my thing. I have a rainbow flag I keep in my classroom and I have one rainbow shirt I wore to Austin Pride in 2019 (but even so, it’s ombre and pastel colors so I’m not sure it counts). Being out doesn’t always mean being loud. So I started to think about how I can authentically show up in Pride month in ways that feel authentic to me. I won’t be doing my makeup in neon colors, although I will cheer on those that do, and I won’t be shouting from any rooftops about my queerness.
I will write about my experiences and be intentional about what art and entertainment I consume this month. That feels authentic to me. I’m hoping that by creating this list, you can find an entry point to Pride month that feels like you, too.
- Like to read? Read books by queer authors that amplify stories of the marginalized.
This is the primary way I’m showing up. I just finished Broken Horses by Brandi Carlile and In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado, and am next on to Black Boy Out of Time by Hari Ziyad. If you want to see the whole stack, I put together this reel. (Except add to the list How We Fight for Out Lives by Saeed Jones – so many recommended that one!)
- Like to watch movies? Watch films with queer actors in leading roles.
Or, documentaries about the history of queer culture in the US. Hulu has an amazing collection put together that is so well-organized you could definitely find something that suits you. Again, be intentional about what you take in this month.
- Have a spare $5? Donate.
Here are a few organizations I love to support:
The Trevor Project is the “leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ people under 25.”
The National Black Justice Coalition is “America’s leading national civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black LGBTQ+ people.”
OutYouth provides “many programs and services that promote the educational, mental, emotional, physical and social development of LGBTQIA+ (lesbian/gay/bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual) youth and their allies.”
- Like to go shopping? Be intentional about where you spend your money. Businesses that use rainbows in their merch and branding are not always queer-friendly.
In recent years, there’s been a great effort to highlight the difference between using queer-friendly marketing and being a queer-friendly company. This article does a great job breaking that down and listing some companies to re-think supporting.
- Have an LGBTQ+ friend? Text them kind and affirming words. Let them know you appreciate their full, true self.
This is a text I got from my oldest friend on the first day of Pride month: “Feeling full of awe, love & inspiration for you & your truth lived bold & loud, every day but always especially on this day – happy pride my dearest friend, you have always been a gift to this world but even more so as your truest self.”
I’m sure you can borrow her words and she won’t mind.
- Are you a member of the LGBTQ+ community? Be kind to yourself. Give yourself grace after grace. We’ve been through it and we are still here.
I’m hopeful that from this list, you’ll find a way to show up in Pride month that feels right for you. It can be simple and uncomplicated but still show a deep commitment to saving seats for LGBTQ+ people.
More on Pride from last week’s post.
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