Happy Pride Month, everyone! Commemorating the Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969, Pride marches and celebrations have been held annually since June 1970, giving all of us an opportunity to champion LGBTQ rights – and, to party down.
As a longtime resident of San Francisco, where the first openly gay man was elected to public office, Pride has always held a special place in my heart. And for anyone interested in sexual health and sex education, the queer community has given us so much: nuanced language for gender and sexuality, inspiring examples of activism and advocacy, and role models of sexual expression. So if you, like me, want to celebrate this month right, here are five ways to do it.
1. Educate Yourself On Pride History
Did you know the Library of Congress has a beautiful visual history of Pride? It’s true! As a cornerstone of contemporary civil rights, the Stonewall Uprising is a story worth reading. When police raided the Stonewall Inn in NYC’s Greenwich Village, eventually becoming violent with patrons, the patrons fought back – a watershed moment for gay rights. In the aftermath, queer folks organized for liberation, arguing they should be free to live their lives openly, without fear of being arrested.
2. Get To Know Your Desire Style
IMO, one of the most powerful legacies of the gay rights movement is the ability to play with language – especially when it comes to your desire style, and who or what turns you on. Pride Month is an ideal time to get more familiar with the contours of your own sexuality, so read up on these 15 types of sexuality and attraction to gain valuable self-knowledge.
3. Practice Self-Acceptance, with Jeffrey Marsh
As the first openly non-binary person on national television, Jeffrey Marsh is such an inspiration. In our convo together, we talked about fearlessly demanding respect from others, ending self-hate, and how the way we experience ourselves goes beyond outward expression. This one’s a tear-jerker in a wonderful way – you’ll walk away adoring Jeffrey, and their radically kind message of self-love.
4. Talk Bisexuality, with Margaret Cho
Sexuality is a spectrum, as Marget Cho knows intimately. “I’m always attracted to a wide variety of looks,” she says. “It’s always about how we’re communicating, and if what’s happening between us is sexy.” If you can relate, I highly recommend our conversation, where Margaret talks about being bisexual, appreciating your sensuality, and wisdom she’s gained through BDSM – like the beauty of pain-only relationships.
5. Get Involved with Queer Rights
June is also an excellent time to volunteer with organizations who support and protect members of the LGBTQ community. Here are some options:
- Groups like Out Youth and The Trevor Project provide resources, counseling, and mentorship for LGBTQ youth.
- Groups like The Marsha P. Johnson Institute and Lavender Rights Project work to defend and protect the rights of black transgender individuals, including low-cost legal services.
- Groups like True Colors work to end homelessness among LGBTQ youth – a pressing problem for teens rejected and disowned by their families, upon coming out.
- Groups like Human Rights Campaign push for federal and state legislation ensuring equality for LGBTQ individuals.
Whether your Pride Month involves volunteering, a parade float, or rainbows aplenty, I hope you enjoy this time of celebration and activation. Pushing for equal rights isn’t limited to just one month – but this month especially, let’s give thanks to the queer activitists who gave us permission to love who we want to love.