Normally, the month of June is a time for Pride celebrations around the world. Although the pandemic has upended a lot of live events and prevented people from gathering as a united group, there are still ways to take part in Pride even if you can’t attend a parade, rally or march in person. Here are some ideas for Pride Month 2021, and how you can show your support for our LGBTQ+ communities.
Find an Online event and celebrate virtually
In 2020, more than 500 Pride parades, rallies and marches were called off around the world, and most offered an online alternative. This year, the story is much the same. Even though World Pride 2021 is scheduled to go ahead in Copenhagen & Malmö this summer, there are many celebrations and events taking place online in June during Pride Month. And the beauty is, you don’t even need to live in that city to take part! Some notable ones include the NYC Pride March in New York and the Virtual Pride Parade in Toronto, both on June 27.
Be an ally
For allies, it’s important to keep the focus on the real meaning of pride, which goes beyond your social media feed. Some good ideas include: learning about the history of Pride including the Stonewall riots of 1969, learning about the struggles of the LGBTQ+ community today, learn how and when to ask appropriate questions, learn about the significance of the Pride flag. Seek out local resources and charities that support and educate on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community. Boost the voices of LGBTQ+ people around you and in your social media circles, retweeting and reposting with attribution, and make space for people to share their stories.
You can use your voice to show your support. Call out hatred, bias and discrimination whenever and wherever you see it, through whatever means you have at hand: letters to elected representatives, public meetings and gatherings, sharing stories with media and on your social network. Calling out bias and discrimination isn’t always a loud, public event (though it obviously can be and is still necessary). Sometimes it’s simply telling a friend or relative to rethink an insensitive joke/comment that they made. Getting people to pay attention at a conversational level is the easiest way to tackle the quieter kind of discrimination that is just as present and detrimental as the more overt kind. We need to let everyone know that respect and dignity are everyone’s right.
As part of our commitment to work to help create a more inclusive and equal future for all, we’re proud supporters, and participants in many organizations throughout North America. In honour of Pride Month, we have made donations to:
There are many LGBTQ+ causes that need assistance to keep operating and to keep pushing for empowerment, equity and social change. Some are also connected to the BIPOC community and recognize the shared need for recognition and acceptance. Find an organization that resonates with you and find out how they can use your support. It might be a financial donation, or it might even be the gift of your time as a volunteer. Either way, it’s about strengthening the LGBTQ+ community with your own personal contribution.