June is Pride Month! While this month can be an extremely personal and insular time of reflection, it’s also time for embracing community.
In the past few years, “going to Pride” has become the popularized way of celebrating an entire month dedicated to Pride: one day, one parade, one flag. It has become very homogenous in the sense that everyone should be celebrating the same way, at the same time, and feel the same—that is, to feel happy (to feel gay). But that isn’t always the case! Pride is also a time to mourn loss, to be angry at current legislation, or even feel sad that maybe this month just isn’t your month to be out. While it is a time of celebration, everyone’s celebrations look different.
There is one key thread running through every celebration path, though: community. Whether it’s the community at large or a few friends you know from school, work, or hometown, having connection is the key to a fulfilling pride. Overall, connection is what makes the LGBTQ+ community so strong and resilient in the first place. It’s always been a group effort, fighting for each other and the future of the community we haven’t met yet!
That being said, there are communities within the LGBTQ+ community that are underserved or in need of a little extra support this pride.
For trans people, especially trans youth, living in states like Florida, Alabama, or Texas where new anti-trans bills have been introduced or enacted, Pride is a time of defense. It’s important now more than ever to give donations or donate your time to organizations that support trans people– especially Black trans people, a severely threatened population within the community. One organization is the The Okra Project, a collective that brings home cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources to Black trans people.
Another organization is the The Marsha P. Johnson Institute, where funds go to defend and support Black trans people– including through the Marsha P. Johnson Fellowship with programs that help Black trans people become more involved as a community organizer, or receive funding for their artistic endeavors.
Lastly, and possibly the most serious, if you have the time or money, please donate to The Trevor Project, an organization dedicated to suicide and crisis intervention for LGBTQ+ youth.
The list doesn’t stop there though! Research places in your local communities—whether you live in a metro area or a small town. If not, try starting one: a pantry, a support group, a bookclub, even!
Supporting LGBTQ+ books and authors is another amazing way to participate in Pride. Telling our stories and making our voices heard through both fiction and non-fiction is an important step toward social visibility. Here is a list of a few of the publishers that focus on LGBTQ+ books:
Sapphire Books: lesbian literary works of art
Damaged Goods: prose and poetry of queer and trans writers
Indolent Books: features stories by people who are queer, trans, nonbinary (or gender nonconforming), intersex, women (of all races and ethnicities), people of color (of all genders), people living with HIV, and more!
And a list of LGBTQ+ books printed here at Three Rooms Press:
- No Stopping Us Now
- Tink and Wendy
- Nirvana is Here
- Weird Girl and What’s His Name
- Everything Grows
Use Pride month as the catalyst for change in your community and in yourself to reach out to others and find connection and support, even if you don’t think you—or other people—need it.
Be well, be safe, be free, and be queer! Happy Pride!