Hi followers, are you celebrating this month?
We’re in the middle of LGBT Pride Month, a time in particular for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans community to celebrate diverse sexual orientations and genders. June was chosen to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots which is said to have sparked LGBT activism in the United States.
While there is certainly time and cause for cheer, we’d be remiss to omit the origins of Pride Month and why it’s necessary. Many people served jail and organizing time to be free of oppression, and many have been discriminated against, harassed, and killed. There has been progress, but there remains constant threat of hard-earned rights being stolen.
Hopefully, you can conjure a little Stonewall in yourself and protest against those inequalities. Here are just a few ideas.
Learn about Marsha P. Johnson, a black trans activist, who participated in Stonewall and co-founded STAR for homeless queer youth. Read about how LGBT youth are over 100% more likely to be homeless and trans women have a disproportionate rate of being murdered. Check out Compton’s 1966 Cafeteria Riot. And don’t keep all that info to yourself!
Support the Arts
What do Fight Club (novel), American Horror Story, and “Pynk” by Janelle Monae have in common? They’re created by people who identify as LGBT! The arts can make a difference in peoples’ lives whether it be seeing representation, the opportunity and employment of a role to represent, or just sustaining a smaller creator. Again, share that journalist, filmmaker, or dancer if you enjoyed their work for both LGBT and not to see as well as expressing that such voices and stories are valuable.
Join an Org
If you ever feel overwhelmed by an issue, someone has probably already created organization about it! Regularly being part of a group is a great, hands-on way to learn and get involved especially with local chapters. Regional clubs are more likely to be need of help, you’ll feel the difference in your neighborhood, and influence state and federal decisions.
Some groups I follow include the subsequent: Equality Florida, Metro Wellness, Metro Manila Pride, UP Babaylan, and TLF Share.
Act on Laws
Supporting groups like the aforementioned is also a good way to keep track of certain local and national legislature. I use an app called Countable which sends an email to your representatives regarding whether you support a bill or not. E-mails aren’t considered as effective as calls or getting groups to visit legislators, but if you’re unable to do those, the messages are the least one can do. I usually send it when I find out about a bill, and make calls whenever it’s closer to the vote.
Here are a few bills just on my radar that deal more explicitly with LGBT issues.
- H.R. 1447: Fair & Equal Housing Act of 2017
- H.R. 2282/S. 1006: Equality Act
- H.R. 2640/S. 1303: Every Child Deserve a Family Act
Tips! Search for the sponsor of a bill on Countable first and then scroll their profile for the specific bill. Also, enter your full address or zip code when using OpenStates as when I just put in my street address, it thought I was on the other side of the country!
Now that you’ve helped make the world a little more fair, it’s time for fun! Hope your festivities are safe and invigorating!