Prizm News / July 8, 2019 / By Ken Schneck
5 things you need to do to keep Pride Month going the entire year
Sure, the calendar seems to have moved on from June, but just because Pride Month is officially over doesn’t mean that you can’t keep the spirit going. And let’s face it: we can’t let up. In a national landscape where LGBTQ+ bodies and voices do not have full protection, now is not the time to sit back and look at Instagram photos capturing the joy of one month when we have 11 more months until Pride comes around again. To occupy your time, here are five things you can (and should!) do to help make every month Pride Month.
1. Keep the rainbow flag flying. When Gilbert Baker created the rainbow flag in 1978 for the San Francisco Gay Freedom Celebration, the idea wasn’t to fly a piece of fabric for one month only. Visibility is key to our fight for equality, so don’t take your flag down just because June is over. Fly it proudly. And if you notice that the rainbow flag has suddenly disappeared from the window of a local business, politely ask if their LGBTQ+ consumers are as important to them the other 11 months of the year as their gay clientele are to their business in June.
2. Throw a gay event yourself. You don’t need a team of staff, an army volunteers, or even a sizable budget to provide an opportunity for our community to get together. Your LGBTQ+ neighbors are hungry for uncomplicated gatherings at which they can be engaged in an activity while still being able to low-key interact with others. Even better if the activity is a non-bar, substance-free event so that our sober siblings can fully participate. Out suggestion: organize a movie night at a local gathering place or even invite people to <gasp> your own living room! Stream Beautiful Thing or How to Survive a Plague, provide some popcorn, and have people share their reflections after the credits roll. It’s easy, cheap, and unbelievably effective in bringing people together.
3. Read a book. The 50th anniversary of Stonewall was such an wonderful blitz of history tidbits on all of our social media feeds. But there is so much more to gay history than 1969. To enhance your knowledge, dive into the pages that explore LGBTQ+ heroes who just don’t get their due. Behold the words of Bayard Rustin. Marvel at the international sensation of Christine Jorgensen. And learn about my own role model, the journalist of Castro Street: Randy Shilts.
4. Be Intersectional. All too often, the LGBTQ+ community holds our events, looks around, and bemoans the lack of support from other communities. But, have we shown up for others throughout the year? We can’t possibly expect others to support our efforts if we haven’t done our part to support theirs. Show up for a fight on minimum wage. Make a placard for a demonstration on reproductive justice. March alongside those seeking to protect immigrant rights. There is no such thing as LGBTQ+ issues and non-LGBTQ+ issues. Lifting up underrepresented voices is lifting up underrepresented voices, and we need to do that every month of the year.
5. Attend more Prides! Not all Ohio cities Pride Celebrations take place in June. There are still Prides in Ohio to be held in the next few months, so make some plans and show your smile and support at:
- Mansfield: Saturday, August 3
- Toledo: Friday, August 16-Sunday, August 18 at Promenade Park
- Akron: Saturday, August 24 at Hardesty Park