As the month of June comes to an end, people around the globe have begun to wrap up this year’s Pride Month celebrations. Pride Month is a time to remember LGBTQ+ history, donate to important causes, and celebrate how much progress has been made. It has been incredible watching our partners educate supporters and bring communities together during Pride Month 2020, but our mission to support the LGBTQ+ community doesn’t end on June 30.
There are more steps each of us can take to assist the LGBTQ+ community year-round. There is still so much progress that needs to be made before equality and justice are realized. We have to work together to dismantle the systems of oppression that have persisted for centuries, and this is not work that can be completed in just one month. Dismantling these oppressive systems requires constant vigilance, education, involvement, and a lifetime commitment. Allyship is a full-time job which means that our unwavering support must extend beyond the month of June.
Here are some ways to support the LGBTQ+ community beyond Pride Month:
1. Set up recurring donations
Organizations continue to do crucial work to support the LGBTQ+ community year-round and donations are instrumental in supporting the work that they do. When using our list of groups to donate to, set up recurring donations to support these groups on a monthly or weekly basis. Also, if your employer matched donations during Pride Month, ask if they will continue to match recurring donations to different groups.
2. Support LGBTQ+ owned businesses
Use resources such as Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index to research the practices of different corporations. When shopping, opt to solely support groups that are supportive of the LGBTQ+ community, and avoid groups that have a history of homophobia or anti-gay practices. More than that, seek out LGBTQ+ owned businesses that you can buy from.
3. Commit yourself to life-long learning
It is important to take in resources such as books, television shows, podcasts and movies to truly establish your foundation as a trusted ally. In celebration of Pride Month, many educational resources have been highlighted by streaming services. These aren’t meant for you to cram all at once. Carve out time to educate yourself slowly and approach topics in-depth by making a list of the different pieces that you encounter. Revisit these resources routinely, and commit to continued learning.
4. Allocate time every month to attend an event
Search for events in your area (or online) that you can attend to join discussions, hear from queer speakers, and a variety of other activities. Look for events on feeds such as Human Rights Campaign and other organizations in your area.
5. Make your office a safe space
Institute an anti-racist, anti-homophobic, anti-transphobic zero tolerance policy in your workplace. Speak out against any problematic situations you may see arise in your workplace, and invite people of all backgrounds into the conversation of the work environment. Ask people what you and other members can do to make sure that everyone can feel comfortable and supported in this atmosphere.
6. Make sure your support is intersectional
Supporting Pride means supporting the many identities and causes associated with various members of the LGBTQ+ community. The first Pride, the Stonewall Riots, was a protest against police brutality. The issues of Black Lives Matter, Black trans groups, and Native groups, are all essential to the overarching mission of Pride. Look for ways to support these groups when giving your time.
Make voting a priority by checking your registration status, requesting a mail-in ballot, and encouraging those around you to get involved. Do research on candidates in your area, and vote for candidates who will actively defend LGBTQ+ rights. Exercise your responsibilities as an ally by volunteering with these candidates in order to ensure that candidates who don’t support the LGBTQ+ community are kept out of positions of power.