Expressing Your Pride During Uncertain Times
This post originally appeared on Chegg Play.
By Chris Ryan
Multimedia Producer & Chegg Pride Chair
We are certainly living in difficult, unprecedented times. Everyone is currently living in various levels of social distancing in an attempt to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 global health crisis. One of the side effects of these necessary (#StayHome) precautions is the mass cancellation of large events and gatherings.
The month of June is celebrated as Pride Month in the United States and recognized in many other areas. Unfortunately, due to the current global health crisis all in-person Pride parades, festivals, and celebrations have been forced to cancel. Global glitter sales are plummeting. Rainbow fashion enthusiasts have been crying for weeks.
And while I’m quite upset that I’ve had to sideline all of my Pride Month social plans, I’d like to instead focus on what we CAN do to celebrate Pride during these rough times.
Treat Educate Yo’ Self
While we now have the luxury of having massive Pride Month celebrations each year, it’s important to recognize that Pride was not always that way. The first Pride was actually a riot that catalyzed the LGBTQIA+ rights movement at the Stonewall Inn in June 1969 in New York City. If you’re interested in learning more about the Stonewall Riots, there is a wide selection of books and movies available. Here is a quick historical recap: https://www.history.com/topics/gay-rights/the-stonewall-riots.
More of a physical book person? Chegg actually has lots of books available on LGBTQIA+ history, politics, and activism for you to rent.
Volunteer your time
Now that you’ve likely cut out many of your weekly activities, you might have a little more time on your hands. Instead of playing another three hours of Animal Crossing (I’m talking to myself here), find an LGBTQIA+ non-profit to do some volunteer work for. Many non-profits have strained resources trying to support their communities right now and could surely use a helping hand. Utilize services like https://www.volunteermatch.org/ to help match you with a cause of your choice. For example, I am helping a local non-profit build out their new website.
Better yet, send in a donation! Even $20 can go a long way these days.
Life is a drag–in a good way
Missing queer nightlife? Many drag performers have taken their shows to the web! With a quick search on platforms like EventBrite and Facebook and you should be able to find a plethora of shows to watch. Many of these shows are free, but I strongly recommend sending virtual tips to these performers. Good drag ain’t cheap…but cheap drag is still good.
Take a breather
This is a hard time for all of us. Don’t feel like being productive today? Pop on a queer film and chill out a bit. Many streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu have sections fully dedicated to queer content. Some personal favorites are The Way He Looks, Holding The Man, and my all-time favorite, Gay From Gaylord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6Anri5J6DQ&t=3s.
Attend a virtual pride event
While we may not be able to physically attend a local Pride parade, many communities are innovating and hosting events online. This year, you can attend Pride all over the world! I’m looking forward to partaking in events across the globe from the comfort of my couch. The food and drinks are much cheaper there anyways.
Want to see what your local Pride celebration is doing this year? Check out this directory and find your city!
Don’t dull your shine
Remember, Pride is an everyday, all-day feeling, and not designated to just a month or location. Just because you may not be able to celebrate in traditional ways, being yourself is reason to celebrate enough. Put on that rainbow gear and strut…to the fridge and back.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay fabulous.