June is LGBTQ Pride Month, and while it might not be safe enough for big Pride parades and celebrations this year, there are still ways you can support the community. From supporting LGBTQ businesses and artists to donating to nonprofits to advocating for positive change in your town, there are tons of ways you can make a difference in your community. This shouldn’t be the end of your activism, though, and there’s no reason these efforts should be confined to one month. We encourage you to use these suggestions to champion the LGBTQ community all year long.
No matter how much you may know about LGBTQ history and current events, there is always more to learn. Read books and watch documentaries about various LGBTQ social movements, and stay up to date with the current issues that impact these individuals. We love this essential reading list from SocialJusticeBooks.org as a jumping-off point for your studies.
Another way to learn is by simply listening to people’s lived experiences, whether it’s a celebrity on Instagram Live, or a friend or family member at the kitchen table. Talk to older members of the community and young ones, too, either in person or on social media. It doesn’t matter how you do it or who you talk to. As long as you’re listening and sharing information with others in your social network, you can show your support.
There are tons of excellent nonprofits out there that work to fight for LGBTQ rights every day. On the national level, consider giving money to groups like The Trevor Project, GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign, and the Transgender Law Center. Often, your dollar can go further when donated to local organizations, so search for advocacy groups in your area that work directly with your own town or community. Charity Navigator is a great tool for finding trustworthy nonprofits to donate your money to, so check out this list of highly-rated LGBTQ organizations that you should consider supporting.
Sure, Pride Month can be fun, but being a true ally means showing up for the community every day of every month of every year. To do this, familiarize yourself with the policies and laws that impact the community in your state. This helpful tool from the Human Rights Campaign will direct you toward local legislation that affects LGBTQ people in your state. Call your representatives to express your concern about any discriminatory legislation or to advocate for policies that protect LGBTQ rights.
If you don’t have the money to donate right now or want to get more involved with LGBTQ nonprofits, consider volunteering. Give your time to a local LGBTQ community center, sign up to be a crisis counselor with The Trevor Project, or use VolunteerMatch to find opportunities that you can do in person or at home.
Put your money where your mouth is and shop at local businesses owned by LGBTQ professionals. To discover LGBTQ-friendly companies near you, check out this resource from the Human Rights Campaign. Many cities also have an LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce that lists local businesses you can support. Beyond shopping, look into ways you can support LGBTQ artists, musicians, writers, and actors, too. Watch movies and television shows that center on LGBTQ experiences, listen to LGBTQ stand-up comedians, and visit local galleries that showcase art made by members of the LGBTQ community.
According to a 2017 survey, one in four LGBTQ employees reported employment discrimination within the previous five years. A recent study from the Human Rights Campaign also found that 46 percent of LGBTQ workers are closeted at work. Even if you believe your workplace is fair and equal for everyone, there is likely more you can do. Find out what protections are currently in place and advocate for diversity training programs to ensure your colleagues are informed. Call out discrimination and microaggressions when you see them. Be sure to work with your LGBTQ coworkers to learn how to make work a more inclusive space.
While Pride only lasts for a month, you can celebrate and support LGBTQ individuals all year long. Stay informed, use your voice to advocate for positive change in your workplace, community, and country, and continue working on yourself to become the best ally you can be.
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