“Pride cannot just be a celebration. It has to be a resistance, and call to action.” said organizer, activist, and writer Adam Eli.
Pride Month might look like rainbow flags and festive parades, but it was actually born out of protest. It came about after patrons of a gay bar in Stonewall fought against a discriminatory police raid on June 28th, 1969. At that time, homosexuality was a crime.
To commemorate the riot, people in major cities across the US started to march, marking the start of Pride everywhere. These marches have become a testament to the LGBTQ+ movement – which is why when we think ‘Pride Month,’ many of us think of colorful parades.
This year Pride Month is especially monumental, since 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, and a half-century of working towards LGBTQ+ liberation.
And no matter how you identify, there are countless ways to support the equality, inclusivity, and wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community this month, and every month.
Here are 9 ways to make a real impact this Pride Month:
1. Attend a parade with Lemonade
We’ll start with the obvious. Parades are a major part of Pride. When you and your friends publicly rally together for the LGBTQ+ cause, it encourages others to do the same.
This year, our amazing Giveback partner The Trevor Project is one of just five Grand Marshals being honored at World Pride March 2019. If you’re visiting NYC for Pride, you can march alongside them by signing up here.
When you join a march, you signal open support of LGBTQ+ rights to local and federal lawmakers. This makes a parade an important tool to instigate political and legislative change, while also creating a sense of literal Pride.
2. Support the Equality Act
Today, LGBTQ+ people still lack rights. Discrimination and harassment is a ongoing struggle in key areas of everyday life – especially for transgender people.
The Equality Act will give LGBTQ+ people better protections nationwide. For example, under most states’ laws, LGBTQ people aren’t explicitly protected from discrimination in the workplace, housing, or public accommodations (like restaurants, hotels, and other places that serve the public).
So someone can be fired from a job, evicted from a home, or kicked out of a business just because an employer, landlord, or business owner doesn’t approve of the person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
3. Wear LGBTQ+ gear
As with Pride parades, wearing LGBTQ+ gear is a fun way to support the cause.
A Pride item, like a rainbow flag in your home or a rainbow pin on your backpack, goes a long way in signaling your support for the LGBTQ+ community. It shows you support a safe space and atmosphere of acceptance and inclusivity, and encourages others to do so too.
For example, we added a colorful token of support to our homepage for Pride – check it out!
4. Volunteer at an LGBTQ+ community center
Local LGBTQ+ community centers serve as important safe spaces for people of all ages and backgrounds to connect with each other and find acceptance.
Often, these centers provide a variety of programs and support services, and need volunteers to stay afloat.
Just last month, The Trevor Project announced a huge milestone: Trevor Lifeline. This new initiative connects trained counselors with young members of the LGBTQ+ community in need of a safe place to talk. Trevor Lifeline is now 24/7, meaning whenever you have availability to volunteer works for them.
5. Donate to a nonprofit
If you’re running low on time, or looking to give back a portion of your monthly salary to charity, donating is a great place to start. (Fact: studies show the most effective way to consistently donate is to make it automatic.)
There are tons of organizations that need your help, and there’s one for every angle: causes focusing efforts on transgender people, LGBTQ+ mentorship, homelessness, medical interventions, equality, among many others.
For example, our partners at the Ali Forney Center, the largest community center for LGBTQ+ homeless youth, run an amazing program called Project Birthday. The fund offers young people who have been rejected by their families the chance to celebrate their special day. You can even make a personal Project Birthday campaign, and invite your family and friends to contribute.
Tip: To make your impact even stronger, we suggest posting about your donation to your chosen LGBTQ+ charity on social media. Our Chief Behavioral Officer Dan Ariely tells us that when others see you doing good, they’ll be encouraged to do the same.
6. Speak up against prejudice
Prejudice comes in many forms, be it blatant homophobic statements or subtle banter.
Either way, these comments are harmful and get in the way of creating an accepting and inclusive environment.
If you witness someone making a hateful comment in the workplace, social setting, or even at the family dinner table, say something. It signals to the speaker that their words are hurtful and disrespectful, and sets an example to those around you.
Speaking up can go a long way. These kinds of standards changed over time, so make sure you’re not passively preventing progress.
7. Curate your feed
Instagram is a great way to nourish your LGBTQ+ Pride and step into allyship. The platform builds a community for queer folks, while also providing useful tools to cis and straight allies who want to educate themselves on related issues. It’s easier than ever to tap into LGBTQ+ culture on your phone, with dozens of accounts dedicated to the cause.
8. Host an LGBTQ+ movie screening
The movies we watch have a real impact on how we think.
By exposing ourselves to different narratives, we can empathize with situations outside of our echo chamber. Luckily, there’s been a recent uptick in positive, educational, and inspiring LGBTQ+ content out there.
- PUZZLES: When Hate Comes To Town tells the story of an LGBTQ+ hate crime, when a teenager attacks the patrons of a gay bar called Puzzles in New Bedford, Massachusetts. It asks hard questions, and spotlights the connection between hate crimes, extremist ideologies, and the increase of hate violence in LGBTQ+ communities.
- How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up shows how gender and sexuality norms are harming today’s American teens. It features the perspectives of straight and LGBTQ+ teens, who open up about their lives, sexual experiences, and how they’re confined by stereotypes and expectations.
9. Make every month Pride Month
Pride Month is an excellent time to launch your involvement in supporting the LGBTQ+ community.
Key word there? Launch.
Being an LGBTQ+ advocate doesn’t stop July 1st. We asked our friend Muneer Panjwani over at The Trevor Project, for his advice on becoming a better advocate:
“Social change happens when people make it a daily habit to support others. Allies should come out as supporters of LGBTQ+ people, call out bigotry when they see it, vote, call their politicians who don’t support trans rights, educate others, think about intersectionality and consider how homophobia affects people of different ethnicities.”
Note: Lemonade is a proud partner of the Trevor Project, The Ali Forney Center, and the ACLU, who all work to further the LGBTQ+ movement.
To support these organizations just by getting insurance, choose one of them as your Giveback cause when you get a Lemonade policy.