June is Pride month, and every year Canadians look forward to celebrating this worldwide event. With parades and parties – Pride is fun for the whole family. But it’s also important to understand the history of why Pride is celebrated every June.
Pride festivities honour the gay pride protests started by trans and gender non-conforming individuals in the 1960s. While LGBTQ+ rights have come a long way since then, there’s still a lot that can be done to help improve the physical, mental and social wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community.
Pride is about celebrating but also advocating. We’ve put together a list of some of the ways you can have fun experiencing a socially distanced or virtual Pride month and supporting the LGBTQ+ community.
Socially-Distanced Celebrations for Pride Month 2021
Make Decorations or Signs
One of the best parts about celebrating Pride is the colourful signs, outfits and decorations at the parades and events. A great activity the whole family can do together is create your own! Start with some rainbow-themed crafts or make your own Pride flags (there are over 30 different ones). And don’t forget about some Pride-themed treats.
Celebrate LGBTQ+ Culture
From James Baldwin to Patricia Highsmith, there are hundreds of incredible LGBTQ+ authors and stories. Whether on your kindle or picked up from the local library, try and get everyone in the family to choose a book. Check out this list of some of the best classic LGBTQ+ novels of all time.
A fun way to celebrate Pride with the family is to watch some LGBTQ+ films or TV shows together. Have everyone choose a few they want to watch and stagger viewings throughout the month. From docs to dramas – there’s something for everyone!
Nothing says Pride like some great music! Spotify has an entire section dedicated to Pride with playlists, artists and songs that celebrate LGBTQ+ culture and history. Try creating a playlist together as a family with songs you like to celebrate Pride and throw a living-room dance party.
Have conversations with your family about the Pride movement and encourage inclusive behaviours. A great place to start is with knowing the proper terms and language you should be using, including gender pronouns.
Volunteer or Donate to an LGBTQ+ Organization
How about donating or volunteering for organizations that stand up for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community? Here are a few.
This organization helps LGBTQ+ people facing persecution in their country based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics, find safety through emergency relocation and other forms of assistance.
This is a national organization that stands up and supports those in the LGBTQ+ family whose voices far too often don’t get heard.
This organization aims to improve and save lives through research, education, awareness, and by advocating for human rights and equality for LGBTQ+ in Canada and around the world.
The Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity
The CCGSD helps empower gender and sexually diverse communities through education, research and advocacy.
Or find a local LGBTQ+ organization in your community that you can volunteer with.
The pandemic has caused many events and festivals to move online and Pride is no exception! Across North America, Pride celebrations are moving to the web so you can still enjoy the party from your own home.
Drag queens and virtual drag shows for example have gone virtual to continue to entertain fans with fabulous performances. The cast of Canada’s Drag Race is teaming up with Toronto Pride for an online Drag Ball, and it’s available to stream online on June 27. Make sure to look online in your local community as well to support your local queens!
Let’s not forget about Pride parades! Across the country from small towns to big cities, people come together to celebrate with music, floats, marching bands and waving flags. There are socially distanced alternatives you and the family can try this year. Hop on Zoom with friends and family to show off your Pride outfits and signs and have your own at-home parade. If your neighbourhood is into it, have a parade in your cars. You can honk your horns and wave your flags in celebration.
Here are some other Pride events you can attend virtually.
We may not be celebrating Pride Month the way we usually do this year, but that won’t dampen the spirit of Pride. We hope these suggestions will help you and your family celebrate your best Pride month yet.