June officially marks the nationally recognised pride month. Pride is celebration of the LGBT+ community and offers the chance for communities to come together in celebration, protest, unity and solidarity.
Unfortunately many Pride events for 2020 have been postponed or cancelled due to the current health crisis. Therefore, we won’t be able to celebrate the way we usually do with parades and events. But that doesn’t mean we mark the occasion and celebrate in our own creative ways.
In this post I highlight some of the ways we can safety celebrate Pride 2020 and give the occasion the attention it deserves.
Learn about The OriginS of Pride
1969 was a significant year in LGBT+ history. At the time, men could be arrested for wearing drag, women were arrested for wearing less than three pieces of “feminine clothing” and the gay community was constantly harassed by the police. In June 1969 the patrons of the Stonewall Inn fought back against a discriminatory police raid and this is why Pride events all over the world are often held in June.
It’s important that we remember why we have Pride. Take this year to educate yourself on LGBT+ history including these important events and policies:
- The Wolfenden Committee (formed 1954) – they published a report, recommending that ‘homosexual behaviour between consenting adults should no longer be a criminal offence’ (1957).
- The Stonewall riots (1969)
- The first Pride event (1972) – held in London
- History of HIV and AIDS.
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) declassifying same-sex attraction as a mental illness (1992)
- The Civil Partnership Act (2004) granting civil partnership for same-sex partners in the UK
- The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013
Keep Fighting for Equality
The fight for equality is far from over. Use this pride month to share educational resources, join a local campaign group, raise money for charity, sign petitions and email your local MP about important issues.
CreatE or Join a community
Community has never been more important. Many of us have spent the past few months in lockdown and have had very little contact with friends and family. There are lots of ways to stay connected at this time. Here are a just a few examples of ways to stay connected during Pride month:
- Host a zoom catch up/party/quiz night
- Join a Pride Facebook community
- Use Stonewall’s #StayInForLGBT
- Host a socially distanced garden party
- Organise a Pride walk with friends
- Join my Pride Pinterest board
Celebrate Pride with self-care
Lockdown has been tough on many of us. Don’t feel pressured to be present on social media or celebrate pride if it will be detrimental to your mental health. It’s important that we take this time to look after ourselves (and each other). Small acts of self-care such as running yourself a relaxing bath, exercising or a calling a friend are positive uses of your personal pride month.
Pride is a effectively a colourful and vibrant celebration of diversity. It’s the perfect time to celebrate yourself. If you’re comfortable here are some of the ways you can be loud and proud this month:
- Relive your past Pride events by sharing Instagram/Facebook memories
- Hang a pride flag in your house
- Add a pride related quote, image or link to your email signature
- Wear a pride flag pin badge or bracelet
- Engage with LGBT+ influences
- Create some Pride inspired artwork
Pride FILm and BOOk Marathon
There are some great books and films in the LGBT+ category (admittedly not enough). From comedy to romance to tragedy and feel good, there are plenty of films to watch and books to read this pride month. Here are some of the LGBT films and books on my watchlist/read list:
In response to the cancelled events and parades, lots of organises have created online Pride events. Here are some of the free events that anyone can virtually attend.
- Collective Panel: Bisexuality & Mental Health – Friday 12 June
- SpeedQueerzers online quiz – Sunday 14th June
- Mama G Storytelling performance – 14 June, 17th June, 21st June, 24th June & 28th June
- Acceptance & Allyship: A Guide to Showing Up – 16th June
- Blessed Bingo – Pride Edition! – June 21st
- Global Pride 2020 – Saturday 27 June
- Pride Dance Fitness WERQout – 28th June
- Manchester Pride: Non-Binary Listening Group – October 8th
We’ll update this list throughout the month.
Share your story
Write your own story down. If you’re comfortable sharing your story with the world there are lots of platforms you can use. You could create a YouTube video, write a blog post or simply share a few lines on social media about your experiences.
However, if you’re not comfortable sharing your story publicly that’s completely fine. Instead you could write a letter to your future self, start journaling, or create an anonymous blog. P.S. I’d love to read your stories!
I’d love to know what plans you have to celebrate pride 2020. Let me know how you’re celebrating in the comments below. And if you’ve written any pride blog posts please do share them below.