A child holds a Progress Pride Flag while sitting on the shoulders of an adult during a parade.

How to Honor Pride Month Amid Anti-LGBTQ+ Attacks

Today marks the start of Pride Month, an annual month-long celebration designed to honor and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community in the U.S. As of 2022, roughly 8% of the U.S. population identifies as LGBTQ. Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2003 in this study) is contributing to its fast growth (Gallup), likely driven by how quickly acceptance for LGBTQ+ communities have grown.

But also growing is a swift backlash against queer and trans rights, led predominantly by conservative, right-wing legislators and bolstered by white conservative communities. Now, anti-trans legislation is at its highest, and conversations around LGBTQ+ inclusivity have been limited by attacks against DEI initiatives. Drag queen events are being banned or under attack. This year, far-right militias, including the Proud Boys and Patriot Front, are preparing to escalate their attacks on LGBTQ+ businesses and events throughoutJune (them).

We’ve written before that rainbow washing falls short of true transformation for queer and trans communities. But this year, it’s clear that brands can’t even do that. There’s been a swift and targeted attack on brands like Target and Bud Light for selling queer and trans-inclusive products. Even Chic-Fil-A, a historically conservative brand, is receiving criticism for hiring a DEI lead (Vox).

Traditional Pride Month celebrations call for inclusivity and remembrance. But this year, go a step further. LGBQT+ communities deserve not only to be celebrated but protected. Here’s how you can amplify your impact this year and next. 

Instead ofblanket support, center those most marginalized. Pride is designed to honor the diversity within the LGBTQ+ community. But we know, like with many marginalized communities, the violence and discrimination we experience aren’t equally distributed. Black LGBTQ+ people, especially Black trans people, are the most likely to experience violence and discrimination. When engaging with Pride content, supporting brands or organizations, or simply learning more this month, be sure to center the people and initiatives addressing this.

Instead ofBuying big box, shop local. If you’re eager to get decked out in Pride gear, consider shopping from LGBTQ+-led small businesses! This ensures more of your money goes directly to supporting LGBTQ+ communities instead of brands that might be profiting off of the month but still investing in anti-LGBTQ+ initiatives. This list of Etsy sellers is great place to find more.

Instead ofSupporting national organizations, donate locally.Find grassroots organizations supporting LGBTQ+ communities in your state, preferably ones led by people of color and trans folks. These initiatives, which can be local nonprofit organizations, communities, or some form of mutual aid, almost always provide more urgent and responsive care to LGBTQ+ communities in real-time than larger orgs. This doesn’t mean national long-stay organizations don’t deserve support. But by giving locally, you can make a more direct and tangible impact on LGBTQ+ communities right now.

Organizations we recommend:

Marsha P. Johnson Institute
Black Trans Leadership 
Okra Project

Instead ofGiving one-time, make a monthly contribution. Structure your individual or corporate gift to be recurring, not just for the month of June. Or, contribute multiple times a year to make a lasting impact. This kind of commitment can help fortify organizations to build more comprehensive programming and advocacy—especially the smallest ones.

Instead ofPosting rainbows, make your stance clear.

Whether it’s your bumper or your social media channels, use the space you have to make your stance clear. A message that you support trans youths’ right to seek gender-affirming care or that queer people deserve not to be discriminated against at work is a clearer message and further educates your audience than a standard pride message. Please do this to the extent that you feel safe to do so. 

Instead ofHosting a panel, build accountability. Go beyond hosting a conversation this year. Instead, invest in an LGBTQ+ facilitator to lead a workshop or training for building solidarity at your organization. If you don’t have a job or the capacity to change organizational culture, consider how you can apply this to yourself. Research how someone from your own lived experience can best support LGBTQ+ communities, especially the one closest to you.

Instead ofGetting “prideful,” get political. Learn about the legislation affecting queer and trans people in your date. As a team, discuss: how you can actively rally against this legislation. What is the role of your community or company in supporting legislators attacking LGBTQ+ rights? This can look like writing letters, hosting a sit-in for community members, joining protests, or divesting corporate dollars from political campaigns.

2400 1597 Nicole Cardoza

Nicole Cardoza

Nicole is an entrepreneur, author, investor, speaker and magician passionate about reclaiming our right to be well.

All stories by : Nicole Cardoza
Start Typing
%d bloggers like this: