It was easy to feel like Pride Month would be moved to the back burner when Covid-19 first started to look pretty serious. It’s easy to now feel like 2020 is cancelled because the US’s racist police force keeps stealing black lives from us. But you can’t cancel the year that woke us up. More than ever, 2020 is bringing unity between the Black Lives Matter movement and LGBTQ+ communities.
Our society has seen the story of Marsha P. Johnson, the 1960’s black trans activist who started Stonewall, being centered in conversations and publications (rightfully) more than during any other Pride. We have emphasized that the Stonewall protest was in fact a riot more than during any other Pride. And we have pushed queer black voices to the forefront more than during any other Pride.
Though I compiled this list of ways to celebrate Pride virtually before the string of police murders that have permanently changed our country, it still remains true that Pride is neither a trend nor a moment – PRIDE IS A FIGHT. It is just as important to include black queer folks in your conversations as it is to educate yourself on the ways in which the intersections of their identities make their queer lives even harder.
I make the conscious effort to stay far far awayyyyyy from companies corporatizing Pride – this year and every year. For all my allies out there, while sporting rainbow face masks is cute or whatever, your efforts are better served supporting grassroots LGBTQ+ organizing communities, fighting for accurate media representations, and educating yourself. More on allyship in our next blog post, so keep a lookout for that.
Here are ways you can participate, advocate, celebrate (and educate yourself) this month and in the months ahead:
- Donate To BLM Organizations, Sign Petitions, Read A Book, Argue With Your Racist Family, Protest Any Way You Can
I’m sure you’ve seen many of these suggestions circulating your social media feeds, but I’m here to remind you that these efforts really do help the queer community. Not only can black people be queer, too, but those who are both black and queer often face violence at higher rates than cis or straight black folks.
- Global Pride 2020 (June 27th)
The European Pride Organizers Association, InterPride, and many local Pride organizations all over the globe have put their heads together to come up with Global Pride. Cooler than your Monday morning Zoom conference, this online celebration is going to be 24 HOURS LONG, with each pride group from across the world taking the stage for 15 minutes at a time. That means you can stream it all day, and tackle some of the other ideas on this list while you do. And no need to worry about “zoombombers” (AKA racist/homophobic/transphobic hackers with too much time on their hands), authorities from various pride organizations will be monitoring the presentations and comments carefully. You can sign up for the event on their website. If you want to get extra creative, try making a float at home!
Let me add that NYC Virtual Pride is on June 26th, and there are other virtual celebrations being hosted by many cities which you can find online.
- Club Quarantine
Club Quarantine (aka Club Q) has reinvented what it means to party. This super viral, online queer dance party has probably been the coolest thing about social distancing. The days of waiting for the weekends are OVER, Club Quarantine streams via Zoom. Every. Single. Night. 9pm-12am EST. And hello? Tinashe, Charlie XCX, Dinah Jane, and Rebecca Black have each shown up, who knows which celebs you might e-encounter this month. Make sure to follow @clubquarantine on Instagram, the Zoom code’s in their bio, plus you can keep up with them and even make a donation.
- Stream Queer Shows
This is a suggestion for the soul. I know you’ve been working way too hard, hunched over that laptop typing or crafting. It’s time to take a break, and how better to chill out than by binge-watching some (admittedly, there’s not many) positive queer representations on your streaming service.
This task does require a little bit of research, but I’m going to make your life a lot easier by providing this extensive list of suggestions, courtesy of Them, all of which can be found on either Netflix or Hulu. You can also check out @strongblacklead on Instagram to see where black representation can be found on Netflix, on their page they have a post on shows depicting black joy, and new black shows on the streaming service.
- Watch A Webinar
There are a lot of options for webinar access. If you’re an IG user, GLAAD has launched an IGTV series called #GLAADHangout which they renamed GLAADxNEON and have been using to uplift black LGBTQ+ voices. GLSEN has a bunch of cool topics they cover with recorded webinars on their website, such as LGBTQ+ inclusive sex education and Trans and GNC experiences in schools.
- Online Trivia With Members Of Your Household
If you didn’t know who Marsha P. Johnson was before these protests (or even before this article), that could mean it’s time to re-educate yourself. This specific idea was brought to you by one of my friend’s coming out parties. She sat us all down and had us play LGBTQ+ Jeopardy, and we had so much fun that we went on a hunt to find a “LGBTQ+ Slang” Quizlet and an “LGBTQ+ Pop Culture” Kahoot. Of course, not everyone’s home environment is the same, and not everyone is even blessed enough to have a home during the pandemic. If you are lucky enough, though, to live with your queer family, your legal family who happens to be very accepting of your queer identity, friends, or roommates, this is a super fun option. This works for allies too, and is certainly an educational tool more exciting than a book.
How to celebrate Pride in 2020? It’s all about evaluating your own ability to help out in the revolution, and seeing where your efforts might be used best. Personally, I’ve been spending Pride month biking all over the city going to different protests, sharing resources on my Instagram, reading, and taking care of my black bisexual self. If you’re still working it out, check out this guide for tips on how you can support LGBTQ owned businesses.
Though self-care wasn’t listed above, I thought I’d also take this moment to remind my black and queer folks that you should never underestimate how radical it can be as well. And in your self care, I hope that you are able to look around and see community, be it in your household or on your phone, and celebrate that.
Let us know how you’re taking part in this unique Pride month in the comments below! Xx
About the Author
A junior at New York University currently studying Gender and Sexuality Studies, Tara Jones (@tara.michaela on Instagram) hopes to get her Masters in Human Sexuality and go into either sex therapy or sex education. She wants to bring attention to how injustice manifests in sexual interactions and the orgasm gap.