Dancers, buildings lit up in rainbow colors, love, celebration, happiness. I walked through the streets of Valencia, Spain during Pride, and it felt like peace was flowing through the streets. Around me, lovers were holding hands, best friends were laughing and families were embracing one another. I listened to the joyous sounds of music and chatter as positivity filled the air. For the first time in my life, I felt that we were on the right side of history…
This is Pride.
Princeton, NJ, 2019
Princeton’s first ever Pride parade, and mine too. There were multicolored flags, groups from the community and my friends surrounding me. All of us joined together to celebrate our freedom to love. People lined the streets and music surrounded us as we marched. Parents with their puppies and babies came out to show support. Straight allies and LGBTQ people were united in this safe space. Together, we supported one another through our presence…
This is Pride.
This year, Pride Month understandably feels different. But don’t despair. We have some ideas!
Why This Year Is Hard
As a result of the discrimination and abuse that many LGBTQ-identifying people face, having a supportive community is vital. Having a group that not only understands the struggles you face but also embraces you for who you are and provides a safe space when needed can be life-changing.
Pride parades are typically held in June, and it may feel like we’ve lost that opportunity this year. Pride celebrations represent a sense of community. They’re a place to feel accepted and empowered. For some, Pride can be an opportunity to express yourself, sometimes after coming out. It may feel difficult to not celebrate Pride as you typically have in the past.
Different Ways to Celebrate
With the restrictions of social distancing and varying guidelines around the world, it’s no surprise that Pride 2020 feels different. But there are still ways to celebrate!
Advocate for LGBTQ rights on social media. Organize car parades. Show support to LGBTQ people—whether you identify as LGBTQ or an ally. Support LGBTQ-owned businesses and donate to LGBTQ organizations. Speaking of organizations, support ones like The Trevor Project—dedicated to crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth—and their #PrideEverywhere project. Reach out to others during Pride Month. Connecting on virtual platforms, sending sweet text messages, mailing cards or calling and telling others how proud you are of who they are can mean a lot and be yet another way to show support.
In This Together
Despite the unfortunate loss of traditional Pride parades this year, Pride Month can still be celebrated. Though Pride this year is going to be different, LGBTQ people are resilient. And Pride Month—parades or not—helps to create a sense of togetherness.
No matter how you celebrate Pride this year, be sure to stay safe, and remember that we’re in this together. Happy Pride!