Loud, Proud, Queer, and Here! How to Celebrate Pride Month All Year
If you ask the corporations that hop on the rainbow bandwagon every summer, celebrating Pride is a one-month thing. But Pride isn’t just something to celebrate. It’s something to live — all year, every moment of every day. It's about creating visibility and continuing the ongoing fight for LGBTQ people to simply exist openly and freely in the world.
Thanks to those who came before us, many of us now have the freedom to celebrate in the streets with parades and parties. But let's not forget, the first Pride was a riot. The rights and visibility the LGBTQ community has today are thanks to the bravery of those who participated in Stonewall — more specifically, the queens who threw the first bricks (literally!).
While most major cities in the U.S. have huge festivals, in many smaller communities around the country, LGBTQ folks still bravely risk a lot — their physical safety included — just by holding small Pride picnics.
So as you think about how to celebrate Pride Month this year, allow yourself to have fun. But remember that states like Florida and Tennessee are actively attempting to reverse all the progress we’ve made since Stonewall, and committing homosexual acts continues to be a crime in 64 countries.
We've come a long way since 1969, but we still have a long way to go. The struggle for equality and the right to exist is far from over. But it's one we fight with love, respect, and a lot of balls.
What is Pride Month?
In the months leading up to June 28, 1969, Manhattan police had been raiding bars where gays were known to gather, arresting patrons. Newspapers would often publish the names of the arrested the following day, outing them to the world and often costing them their jobs, families, and safety.
Not long after midnight on June 28, police descended upon The Stonewall Inn, a mafia-owned gay bar in Greenwich Village. But instead of lining up to show IDs like they normally would, the community — including heroic drag queens and trans women of color — fought back.
The Stonewall Uprising marked a turning point in the gay rights movement. A year later, Chicago, San Francisco, New York City, and Los Angeles held their first Pride parades to celebrate the first anniversary of that pivotal moment in queer history.
It’s been more than 50 years since that iconic brawl that started everything, and Stonewall now holds a spot on the official National Historic Landmarks list. LGBTQ people may have more rights today than ever before, but there’s still much work to be done. That’s why half a century later, June is the month when Pride sets the stage to get loud and proud.
8 ways to celebrate Pride Month any time
Whenever you wave your rainbow flag, remember that you’re not just doing it for yourself and the generations yet to come. You’re celebrating the history of Pride and the members of the LGBTQ community who fought for equal rights long before you were born.
Here are some of our favorite ways to celebrate our LGBTQ history and community (and practice allyship — we see you, allies!).
1. Attend a Pride march or parade
We’ve talked a lot about June, but some countries celebrate Pride at different times. Nearly every month has Pride events somewhere in the world, so if you’re feeling mega-proud this year, check out this Pride calendar and start booking your international tour.
No matter where you call home, we highly recommend checking out your local Pride parade, joining a march, or participating in another Pride event. It’s a time for fun and community, and it shows young people that they have the right to not just be who they are but to be celebrated for it.
2. Support LGBTQ-owned businesses
You might be tempted by rainbow capitalism — corporate retail’s habit of throwing rainbows on everything for exactly 30 days a year. But your pink dollars deserve better than being in the pockets of those who see Pride as a cash cow, often with no regard to the LGBTQ rights they claim to support.
We recommend supporting LGBTQ-owned businesses all year long, but Pride Month in particular is the time to be as picky about where you shop. So when you’re choosing looks for the big parade, put your money where your mouth is and shop queer.
3. Promote Pride at work
Many businesses jump on the Pride flag bandwagon every June. But it’s our job to make sure they’re walking the walk and not just profiting off our rainbow colors. Calling out the higher-ups and asking for support may not be the most exciting way to celebrate Pride, but it’s important for LGBTQ professionals and their allies to hold employers accountable and promote inclusion in the workplace.
If your company doesn’t have an employee resource group dedicated to the LGBTQ community (and one for allies), look into starting one and spreading the word so new members can join when they’re ready. Plan a corporate volunteer day or organize fundraising for global and local LGBTQ nonprofits. Host a lunch and learn or an LGBTQ book club or trivia group. Add your pronouns to your email signature. Join or form a committee to make Pride a fun and impactful part of your company culture.
But remember: Everyone deserves to come out on their own terms, especially at work. Never assume or ask how someone identifies or who they choose to date. Just know that even those who don’t out themselves to coworkers will still appreciate seeing their community supported, and you’ll create a more welcoming environment for every LGBTQ person who joins the company down the road.
4. Support LGBTQ artists
Whether you prefer enjoying art in a museum, concert hall, theater, or on the couch, the world is full of creative LGBTQ people who dance, sing, write, paint, act, and produce top-tier films, music, and TV shows. Seeking out their art year-round will make your life richer. But June is the prime time to show queer artists some extra love by buying albums, books, shows, movies, merch, and visual art.
On a budget? You can still do a lot of good by spreading the word about LGBTQ artists on social media, at the water cooler, on a first date, and wherever else you interact with people who might become new fans.
5. Join and donate to support groups and charities
Advocacy is important, and support groups and charities rely on volunteers and donors to keep their initiatives going. Consider offering time or money to local LGBTQ support groups and human rights charities during Pride Month and beyond.
The organization doesn’t even have to be directly related to queer rights to make an impact — trans people and many others within the community suffer and even lose their lives to depression related to issues like conversion therapy, untreated gender dysphoria, and a lack of acceptance from family. Contributing to charities that provide mental health support and education is another great place to funnel your resources.
6. Organize your own event
LGBTQ people live and work in communities of every size — we’re everywhere! But if you don’t live in a sprawling metropolis, you might have a harder time finding Pride events in your area. So why not host your own? It could be as big as a block party or as small as a book club or a backyard screening of Paris is Burning. If you’re craving a Pride event that doesn’t exist in your area, make it happen! You’ll meet new friends, foster a sense of community, and give the LGBTQ people around you another safe place to be themselves. And you’ll add to the visibility that gives us strength in numbers. Before we can support our fellow queer people and allies, we have to let each other and the world know that we exist.
7. Make an LGBTQ playlist
Every Pride party needs a Pride playlist. Add some tracks from contemporary queer artists like Halsey, Tegan and Sara, Perfume Genius, and Frank Ocean. Throw in some David Bowie, George Michael, Queen, and Village People to give a nod to the LGBTQ artists of yesterday. Finish it off with iconic tunes from past and present allies like Donna Summer and Ariana Grande, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a good time.
Even if you’re more the type to celebrate solo, the right music will help you set the mood and feel proud of who you are. Share your playlist on social media to spread the joy — it’s an easy way to support the LGBTQ artists and allies who have been central to the equal rights movement since day one.
8. Educate yourself (and others)
Education is crucial to understanding the complicated history of Pride and the equal rights movement, especially for allies who don’t have first-hand experiences with oppression and marginalization based on their gender identity or sexuality. And our breakdown of the Stonewall Riots barely scratches the surface.
You’ll find plenty of worthwhile info in books, articles, and even Wikipedia entries. But if you don’t have the time or attention to devote to reading, look for LGBTQ documentaries and podcasts to help get you up to speed. If you stumble across some information that surprises you, there’s a decent chance your friends and acquaintances would benefit from hearing about it too. So bring it up in conversation and share links on social media. We all play a role in expanding rights and visibility, which means making an effort to learn about history and the issues the LGBTQ community faces today.
Find your community
More than 10 million monthly active users turn to Grindr for LGBTQ dates, friends, and fun. It’s a great way to build a community and find a group to help you celebrate all things Pride.
Get the Grindr app for iOS or Android or browse hands-free on Grindr Web. To find even more Pride celebrations and people to enjoy them with, try extending your radius with Boost.