Every year, the LGBTQ+ community and allies across the country celebrate Pride month in June. It’s a month-long event that grows in popularity every year as more people start to open up about their personal truths and more people want to show their support for the community.
While Pride month is a great way to celebrate diversity while educating others about the LGBTQ+ community, there’s no reason the heart of Pride should only last a month.
Whether you’re a member of the community or an ally, there are things you can do to keep Pride alive all year long. This is a community that deserves to be recognized and celebrated more than just once a year.
So, what can you do to keep Pride alive?
Share Your Personal Story
One of the best ways to be an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights is to tell your story to others. If you’re a member of the community, that might include your coming-out story. You could also talk about struggles you’ve had to face, different people in your life, or challenges you’ve been able to overcome.
If you’re an ally, don’t be afraid to talk to your friends and family members about why you support the LGBTQ+ lifestyle. Those who are still “against” it often aren’t educated on what it really means as well as they should be. The more open everyone is, the better. That starts with you.
Volunteer Your Time
With one quick search online, you’ll find countless LGBTQ+ organizations in your area. Many of them are operated solely by volunteers, and they’re always looking for help. Donate your time and skills to one that speaks to you. There are even places that give support and guidance t
o LGBTQ+ youth. It’s a great opportunity to work with kids and give them a safe, loving place to go.
If you don’t have a lot of time or you don’t do well with groups, consider donating money to those organizations. Every little bit helps.
Join An ERG
If you want to help those in the LGBTQ+ community at work, consider joining your business’ employee resource group (ERG). Once you’re a member, you can work with your employer to make your place of business more inclusive to the community.
That could involve putting on events, raising money, celebrating your own Pride events at different times of the year. Unfortunately, there are still far too many people in the LGBTQ+ community who are looked down on in places of business. You can do your part to change that.
As stated above, a lack of education in the community can be dangerous. You should be educating yourself, as well. You can be an ally and still not know everything. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a desire to learn! Talk to members of the LGBTQ+ community. Ask them any questions you might have.
If you’re honest and sincere, it’s likely that they’ll have no problem giving you the information you want. There are no “wrong” questions, and most people will be happy you’re choosing to get solid information, rather than making assumptions.
There are millions of people in the LGBTQ+ community in our country alone, and millions more across the globe. And yet, they still aren’t always treated as equals. That’s why it’s so important to go beyond Pride month, and become an ally and advocate year-round.
Keep these ideas in mind to celebrate your friends and family members in the LGBTQ+ community, and don’t be afraid to get creative when it comes to different ways you can show your support. Again, every little bit helps, and one person can make a difference in celebrating and raising awareness.