Between navigating COVID-19 and the crucial Black Lives Matter movement, Pride is different this year, yet more relevant than ever. Pride came to fruition as a riot 51 years ago at Stonewall, spearheaded by queer, trans*, black, indigenous people of color [QTBIPOC] such as Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Stormé DeLarverie. This year’s Pride will be less about corporate rainbow-washing and overpriced events and more about coming together as a community to celebrate hope, honor our LGBTQAI+ family and fight inequality at its core.
Here are some ways to loudly and proudly showcase your pride this year.
Support Queer-Owned Businesses
All month long, This Queer Kitchen and Queer Money Project will be highlighting catalysts for change in the queer community to #supportqueer. They believe now is the time to take action in supporting our Black Queer and Black Trans* community members. One way to continue doing that is through supporting Queer and Black-owned businesses and redistributing your wealth to organizations that support the QTBIPOC community. Send them a screenshot of your receipts from purchases at Queer or Black-owned businesses or organizations that support the QTBIPOC community and they’ll match your donation with one to the @theokraproject. For a full directory of Queer restaurants and cafes, visit eatqueer.com.
Broaden Your (Social) Networks
Safe, inclusive community spaces on and offline can easily get overlooked in mainstream media and in real life. Showing your support for the community is as simple as giving queer stories a like or a follow; even better if you dive deep into new social feeds to educate yourself. With that in mind, consider following: @cuirkitchenbrigade, a food/agro project based in NYC and in solidarity with Puerto Rico’s sustainable agroecology movement; @joypartybk, a space to celebrate QTBIPOC culture, community, and music; @theunapologeticallybrownseries utilizes public spaces to tell QTBIPOC stories through art; @queerdep, a community-based, post-release, organization advocating for LGBTQIA+ and HIV+ migrants; @queersoupnight, a monthly queer soup party with social justice at the forefront; @veggiemijas, a women of color/non-binary folks of color/femmes of color collective that highlights the importance of having a plant-based lifestyle while also intersecting race, gender identity, class, and sexuality; and @bubble___T, a collective dedicated to celebrating, showcasing and promoting the intersection of queer and Asian identities.
Donate to Queer Activists
The Queer community bands together in times of crisis to provide for each other. Now more than ever, Queer activists and grassroots organizations need our support to continue with their impactful work. Here are a few organizations you can donate to: @foodissuesgroup is a collective of chefs, farmers, and foodworkers challenging the food system with their services supporting queer youth and immigrant foodworkers; @activationresidency supports queer and QTBIPOC individuals in activating their creative process; @theokraproject is a collective that addresses black trans* issues via home-cooked, healthy and culturally appropriate meals and @yardy.nyc provides meal relief for black families amid the pandemic. Film collective The Bush Films also has rounded up Black-led LGBTQ+ organizations to support, such as The LGBTQ Freedom Fund, which posts bail for LGBTQ people in jail or immigrant detention centers.
Finally, on June 27, AsylumConnect, a tech nonprofit providing the first mobile app for LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and other persecuted LGBTQ+ people, is holding an online auction where you can bid for queer prizes, workshops, and more. Speaking of perpetuating queer autonomy, if you or someone you know is a queer entrepreneur, StartOUT has partnered with SoGal for a Queer Womxn Founder Talk on June 17. RSVP here.
Celebrate Queer Films, Books and Art
Art is a form of resistance and pride. As a disproportionate amount of Queer artists and freelancers have been out of work due to COVID-19, show your pride by supporting them in their craft and immersing yourself in the queer creative process. On June 12, The Queer Women of Color Film Festival kicks off at 7pm and will showcase 31 new films over the three-day festival. Register here. On June 15, independent bookstore Books are Magic celebrates Queer voices with Corinne Manning, Carter Sickels, De’Shawn Charles Winslow, and Andrea Lawlor. RSVP here. On June 18, Writers Club NY will be uplifting black queer voices during a live reading of “The Poems of Black Souls.” Their entire pride schedule of events can be found here. Another event on June 18 not to miss is a virtual teacher workshop on examining LGBTQAI+ identity and representation in art curated by The Brooklyn Museum. Queer Art has curated a Book and Print Fair and a Drink and Draw. View the entire calendar here. You can also pre-order WMN Show Me What You Got, ISSUE 2 of WMNZine Lesbian Art and Poetry, debuting this summer. They also welcome pitches from lesbian and womxn writers; submit yours at email@example.com. In support of nurturing South Asian and Indo-Caribbean friendships, the South Asian Queer and Trans Collective (SAQTC.NY) will also be hosting a plethora of art-centric events from a book club to support groups and writing workshops. Finally, The Bush Films, an NYC based queer film series focused on films for and about queer women, trans* and non-binary people, will be holding digital viewings all month long.
Pride may be ‘canceled’ but that doesn’t mean you can’t dance, sing, and party, just like you would have in the street. NYC Pride is turning the parade weekend into a series of virtual events, including live-streamed performances by Rufus Wainright, Coco and Breezy and more. House of Yes is hosting events every Friday and Saturday and has a special Pride edition of Rosa Perreo: Digital Dance Party on June 27. On June 20, LGBTQA+ Digital Pride and Migration 2020 will be commemorating the struggles of displaced peoples who identify as LGBTQA+ with a celebration filled with drag queens and DJs. RSVP here. On June 26, Papi Juice, an art collective that celebrates queer and trans* people of color, will host its Seventh Anniversary Party virtually—you do not want to miss this remarkable party. On June 27, LEX and NYC Dyke March have teamed up for a worldwide queer speed cruising event that’ll be sure to charm all you queer cuties. More info here.
Stretch, breathe, and be kind to your body as a way of pride and self-care. On June 14, Queer Anga, a multi-gender, multi-racial trans* and queer wellness collective will be hosting a fundraiser with Love is Juniper, a yoga and healing art space. All month long Queer Anga will host events from a Queer Draw-In to their signature Modo Yoga. Want more yoga? Every Friday this month you can stretch your body with Amethyst Moon Yoga, who will be providing free yoga classes to Black LGBTQA+ individuals. The Lions Tooth Project, a collective that inspires immigrant, queer, and BIPOC youth to have more agency over their own wellness, healing, and personal stories will be holding a virtual drop-in with solace yoga and cooling herbs on June 18 at 5pm for ages 14-24. For the time being, OM Girl Allie will be providing free daily guided meditations called Going Inward.
What better way to celebrate than to centralize our gratitude for QTBIPOC individuals, if not by uplifting and supporting black and QTBIPOC voices? On June 18, support our Black Queer family by taking part in The Queer Liberation March for Black Lives and Against Police Brutality. More information can be found here.