Maybe it’s a good thing COVID-19 canceled our glittery Pride parades and parties. Because this Pride Month shouldn’t be a celebration. The recent weeks of injustice and protest have made me ask myself: How can the LGBTQ+ community be proud if some of our own are being left behind by systemic racism? How can we be proud when our own are being murdered by police?
In the Venn diagram of the LGBTQ+ community and the Black Lives Matter movement, we share one of the most marginalized groups of people in America. And one of the most abused, especially when it comes to police brutality: black trans people. It reveals an ugly truth in white LGBTQ+ millennials and xennials: 51 years later and we’ve forgotten our queer history. Because the first Pride was a riot against police brutality. And the majority of people on the frontlines at the Stonewall Uprisings – finally standing up, finally fighting back – were black drag queens.
This Pride Month has to be about lifting up those at-risk groups at the intersection of the LGBTQ+ community and the Black Lives Matter movement – especially if you’re white and cis-gendered. Being queer in this country is hard, but it’s nowhere near as hard as being black and queer. So this June, let’s pause the party and get some work done.
Support LGBTQ+ People of Color
There are so many important causes and so many organizations for all of the causes that need donations right now. And the flood of social media posts with lists on lists of groups is overwhelming. Where should you put your money? And should you give a little to each or a lot to one? If you normally donate to a larger, national LGBTQ+ organization, switch to something smaller this month that benefits LGBTQ+ people of color. Larger groups – though they do incredible work – are more often centrist in their work. Here are three groups led by LGBTQ+ people of color that deserve all the attention this Pride Month:
- LGBTQ+ Freedom Fund: The organization is helping pay bail for LGBTQ+ protesters arrested in Black Lives Matter demonstrations. And beyond protests, the organization is committed to “the safety and liberty of LGBTQ people in U.S. detention” with an emphasis on stopping the sexual abuse of transgender people in prison.
- Center for Black Equity: This is one of the largest networks for black LGBTQ+ people and provides resources to “educate, engage and empower their fight for equity and access.” Right now, the organization is focused on COVID-19 relief for low-income, at-risk LGBTQ+ black people.
- The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation: Founded by Taraji P. Henson, the organization seeks to raise awareness about mental health and provides people of color with access to affordable and free therapy. The organization’s website has a list of therapists of color who also specialize and have experience with LGBTQ clients.
Shop Smarter and Make Your Money Count
If you’re unable to donate, another way to make a difference and give back is by shopping smarter. If you’re an avid Amazon shopper, make sure to use Amazon Smile. If you shop through smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase to a charity you choose on their list. And there are hundreds of LGBTQ+ groups on the list, from The Trevor Project which focuses on suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth to local LGBTQ+ community centers.
Another way to make more of an impact with your wallet is by buying products that give back. Many brands love to tout a Pride collection or rainbow line for June, but unfortunately not all brands actually give back to LGBTQ+ causes with rainbow merchandise. So, if you’re looking for brands making major corporate donations in honor of Pride Month, shop these rainbow buys:
- Popsockets: The Poptivism collection of Popsockets donates 50% of each sale to select charities and several LGBTQ+ organizations are on the list, from the Trans Women of Color Collective to the San Francisco LGBT Center.
- The Bouqs: For Pride Month, the online flower store has created a rainbow bouquet of colorful roses. 20% of the purchase price for each bouquet will go to Los Angeles LGBT Center for healthcare, housing and education programs.
- Teva: The company’s annual Pride collection of sandals feature bright, rainbow-striped straps. In honor of the collection, Teva has donated $20,000 to the It Gets Better Project.
- KIND: 100% of net sales from KIND’s Pride bar will go to the Ali Forney Center to assist in protecting and empowering homeless LGBTQIA+ youth across the country.
- Bombas: For every pair of socks you purchase, a pair will be donated to someone in need in the LGBTQ+ community through The Ally Coalition.
- Face Halo: Go green with these reusable makeup pads. 5% of proceeds from the Pride edition will go to The Trevor Project.
- Apple: For Pride 2020, Apple released a new rainbow sport band for the Apple Watch as well as a new Nike Pride sport brand. The company supports numerous LGBTQ advocacy organizations including Encircle, Gender Spectrum, GLSEN, PFLAG, SMYAL, The National Center for Transgender Equality, The Trevor Project and ILGA World.
Attend Virtual Events
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In lieu of parades and parties, let’s use this month to support queer, black artists and storytellers. Several Pride groups around the world are bringing their festivals online this year and the following program lineups feature more LGBTQ+ people of color as grand marshals, presenters or performers.
- LA: LA Pride is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a primetime virtual parade that will air on ABC7 on Saturday, June 13. Raven Symone and the cast of the upcoming Hulu series, “Love Victor” are already confirmed for the broadcast.
- NYC: The largest pride celebration in the country, NYC Pride is airing a special broadcast on WABC Channel 7 on June 28 from noon to 2 p.m. ET. Celebrity appearances and performances include Janelle Monae, Billy Porter, Margaret Cho and more.
- Around the World: InterPride, the international network of Prides, is hosting a Global Pride event on Saturday, June 27. The live stream will include “musical performances, speeches and key messages from human rights activists” from groups across Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America, too.
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Deanne Revel is a travel journalist and host in Seattle, WA. She is passionate about LGBTQ rights, mental health and a proud supporter of The Trevor Project. When not on assignment, you can find her exploring National Parks or theme parks with her wife. Follow her adventures on Instagram @revelandroam.