How to celebrate Pride month during a pandemic

This June marks the 51st celebration of Pride month, a time to honor and support the LGBTQ+ community worldwide. In the past years, people usually celebrated with parades and festivals, but this year will look different as most places are still under COVID restrictions. How can we then celebrate Pride month during this pandemic?

Source: Inc. Magazine

Understand the history of Pride month

Why is June chosen to be Pride month? The reason dates back to June 28th, 1969, when police raids at a gay club called Stonewall Inn in New York City led to a series of demonstrations by the gay community. The Stonewall riots marked one of the first times the LGBTQ+ community join forces to fight back after centuries of discrimination, and the anniversary of the riots turned into the much celebrated Pride month today. Understanding the history of Pride month means acknowledging the inequities of the past and committing to remedying them in the present.

Support inclusion groups within your community

  1. Join or start DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) groups in your school or workplace. This is a new concept in Vietnam, so you can be a pioneer by starting a small group to advocate for equal treatment for all within your institution, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or religion. This is particularly important for multicultural workplaces and schools.

  2. Find existing LGBTQ+ advocacy groups in your city and keep up with them on social media so that you can join their virtual or in-person events when possible.

Voicing your support publicly

  1. Show your support visually by wearing Pride clothing and accessories. Something as small as wearing a Pride t-shirt can still raise awareness about the cause and increase the presence of Pride month. Even when you cannot go out, you can hang a Pride flag outside of your house or adorn it with Pride decorations to make a public display of support.

  2. Voice your support publicly, either in conversations or through social media. Share resources for Pride month and leave words of appreciation for the LGBTQ+ movement and figures you admire.

Educate yourself

We live in a world where it’s easier than ever to stay informed. Use the wealth of resources at your fingertip to learn about the challenges that the LGBTQ+ community is currently facing and how you can help. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

1. Books

  • Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman: a budding romance between a seventeen-year-old student and his father’s research assistant. The novel is also made into an award-winning movie of the same name.

  • Danish Girl by David Ebershoff: the novel is based on the story of Lili Elbe, a world-renowned artist and the first recipient of a sex reassignment surgery, making her one of the world’s first transgenders. The novel is also made into a moving movie starring Eddie Redmayne.

  • A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood: the book follows details a day in the life of a gay professor grieving his partner’s death in Southern California. A poignant yet faithful description of what it’s like to be queer, the book is also made into a movie directed by Tom Ford.

2. Movies

Netflix has a whole genre page for Pride Month, compiling movies, documentaries, TV shows and more, and so does Hulu and Amazon Prime. Besides the movies based on the novels mentioned above, you can also check out the following:

  • Blue is the Warmest Color: the movie follows two French youths’ love story through the years, and is based on a graphic novel of the same name by Jul Maroh. It is globally acclaimed and received many awards and nominations.

  • A Fantastic Woman: this Chilean drama is about the struggle of a trans woman living in a conservative society after her boyfriend’s death. The film was used to raise awareness about the trans experience and helped push a bill to allow trans people to update their names and gender identity on official documents in Chile.

At the end of the day, remember that supporting the LGBTQ+ community is a year-round work and not only confined to June. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge what you don’t know and seek answers to your questions. Curiosity and compassion are foundational to dismantle prejudices and pave the way to equality.