How and Why YOU Should Celebrate Pride Month!
It’s about so much more than merchandise with rainbows. This year we’re exploring HOW and WHY everyone should celebrate Pride Month!
While Pride Month is often celebrated with parades and rainbow-colored everything, it’s also a reminder of the many battles people fought (and are still fighting) for dignity and basic human rights. Seeing openly gay and trans celebrities might make you think these celebrations aren’t necessary, but they are! Gay marriage only became legal in 2015 for crying out loud. That’s why we want to encourage YOU to celebrate Pride Month this year!
Whether you’re queer, questioning, or just want to be a better ally, we should all do our part to get informed and amplify LGBTQIA+ voices. Plus, how much do you REALLY know about the origins of pride month? Did you know that trans women of color were the driving force behind it? Do you know what all the letters in LGBTQIA+ stand for?
Read on to learn HOW and WHY everyone should be celebrating pride month!
First, Get Informed!
Growing your knowledge and understanding of this community helps you make more inclusive decisions, support loved ones, and it basically helps you become a kinder and more accepting human. We don’t know about you, but we think that’s something everyone should strive for!
Here are a few items you should consider looking into if you’re interested in celebrating pride month:
- LGBTQIA+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual. The plus sign represents other sexual identities such as pansexual or two-spirit (a pan-indigenous American identity).
- Respect people’s pronouns! Instagram even has an option to display preferred pronouns, so there’s really no excuse. If someone prefers he/him, she/her, they/them, or even a mix, do your best to respect that.
- There’s a big difference between sex and gender. The former has to do with biological attributes, while the latter is a wide spectrum encompassing socially constructed roles, behaviors, expressions, and identities.
- Pride Month takes place in June to commemorate the Stonewall riots that took place in 1969. While this was hardly the first time LGBTQIA+ individuals stood up to abuse, this particular incident of police harassment inspired the onlooking crowd to fight back against homophobic treatment.
- Don’t ask ANYONE about their sex lives. It’s intrusive and insensitive.
- If you want to celebrate Pride in different cities (or even throughout the year), take a look at the calendar provided by The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association.
This is hardly a comprehensive list, but it’s a good place to start if you’re new to celebrating pride.
Amplify LGBTQIA+ Voices
Too often, the stories of marginalized groups are told by people who aren’t even PART of those groups. That might look like white people talking about black issues, men talking about women’s reproductive rights, and cisgender people talking about queer issues.
Admittedly, sometimes these people are very well-informed and educated, but that’s not the point. The people who know the most about LGBTQIA+ issues are the people within that community! That means connecting with local LGBTQIA+ groups to learn about local events, fundraisers, and resources. It also means reaching out to LGBTQIA+ friends, family, and coworkers when you see an opportunity for them.
However, before shining a spotlight on your queer friends, double-check with them. Some people are still questioning, prefer to keep their romantic lives private, and some people aren’t in a safe position to publicize that part of themselves. Being able to safely represent your community in public is a privilege not all queer individuals possess.
This is something influencers like Ayman know all too well. As a nonbinary beauty influencer of South Asian descent, they are celebrating Pride this year by being unapologetically themselves! “I’m at a point in my life where I realize representing the queer community is a privilege. We’re deserving of more than just tolerance; we deserve celebration, respect, pride, and love. That’s why I strive to be the representation I wish I’d had growing up. I want to be visible for all the people who can’t.”
Volunteer Time and/or Money to LGBTQIA+ Organizations
One of the most powerful ways to provide support is to donate time and/or money to LGBTQIA+ organizations. Plus, while volunteering at local events is fabulous, there are tons of virtual volunteer opportunities as well. The Trevor Project even offers virtual training to become a digital or telephone crisis counselor for young people struggling with issues such as coming out, LGBTQ identity, depression, and more.
If your schedule is too strict, or if you’re just not particularly social, no worries! These organizations always need funds, so this is the perfect time to put your money to good use. If you want to support the LGBTQIA+ community from a distance, consider donating to some of the charities listed here.
Be Vocal About Being An Ally
If you’re an ally to the LGBTQIA+ community, that means you support equal civil rights, social movements, and you actively work to disrupt homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia. You acknowledge that this community faces discrimination and is oftentimes socially disadvantaged. If, however, you only voice these opinions in private, you’re not really an ally.
We don’t say that to point fingers, but to spread awareness. The type of social change needed to lift queer people up requires vocal allies. That means using your position and privilege to counter discrimination when you see it it. Plus, remember that if you’re a cisgender, heteronormative individual, you’ll encounter this type of discrimination far less than your queer friends.
Celebrate Pride and Promote Inclusivity!
No one likes to look at themselves too critically, but it’s important to take stock of our attitudes and actions. That’s why we challenge you (and ourselves!) to take steps that promote inclusivity. The world is full of unique, beautiful people! We’re all so different, but we have so much in common too.
Yes, we make skincare products and there’s lots of room for improvement within the beauty industry. But when we promote “skin that vibes” that includes you! Whether you’re a glamorous drag queen, a straight ally, still in the closet, or crushing that queer life, you deserve to feel comfortable and beautiful in your skin.
Please know you are ALWAYS welcome in our family and that we love you just the way you are.
We recognize that LGBTQIA+ communities are still at risk from violence and oppression from systemic issues within the U.S. and around the world. Please consider volunteering at a local LGBTQIA+ center or donating to these organizations.