How Texans can celebrate Pride without parades
This June, we’re celebrating the 50th Pride Month, marking a half century of progress since the birth of the LGBTQIA+ rights movement.
Pride Month commemorates the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, demonstrations led by Black trans women that sparked the modern fight for LGBTQIA+ equality. Since then, Pride Month has grown larger and larger as queer rights have found broader acceptance in American culture. Today, Pride Month falls at a unique time in our history, as the coronavirus crisis threatens our health and Americans stand up against racism and police brutality.
The fight for LGBTQIA+ rights has come a long way since the Stonewall Riots, but there’s still more work to be done to protect queer Americans from discrimination and violence, especially BIPOC. During this unique Pride Month, here’s how you can celebrate the progress we’ve made and work to make a better future for LGBTQIA+ Texans.
Whether we’re connecting in person or through our computers, Pride gives us a chance to come together and celebrate one another for who we are. While some parades may not be happening this year, LGBTQIA+ Pride can never be truly cancelled. Here’s a list of some virtual and in-person Pride events you can attend to celebrate with your Texan community.
Virtual Events (sorted by date)
- The RGV’s Pride in the Park is hosting virtual Pride all month on Facebook, with workshops, read alouds, and LGBTQIA+ panels.
- Along with a virtual parade on June 19, PFLAG El Paso has a packed schedule of LGBTQIA+ events for the rest of June.
- Pride Houston and OutSmart magazine are hosting a virtual pride film festival.
- San Antonio's “Bigger than Texas” parade is moving online, with appearances from Latin artist Shelly Lares, Drag Race winner BeBe Zahara Benet, and more.
- Dallas Pride is going virtual this year, with a two-day, online celebration. More details to be announced.
- In solidarity with Black Lives Matter, Pride Houston has planned an equality march and rally in place of the originally scheduled pride parade.
While we’re practicing social distancing, quarantine gives us an opportunity to educate ourselves on queer history and issues. Learning from a diverse group of authors, artists, and advocates can help us broaden our understanding of different LGBTQIA+ experiences.
To start, Lambda Legal compiled an anti-racist reading list of 25 books from Black queer authors. If you’re interested in a broader list, here’s 43 books about LGBTQIA+ life, culture, history, and politics. For younger readers, Vulture named the 38 best queer YA novels, and Scholastic selected 10 books for kids to learn about the LGBTQIA+ community.
If watching films is more your style, here’s a list of documentaries and movies that chronicle queer history. For audio learners, Advocate has a list of 12 LGBTQIA+ podcasts to listen to. If you’re an ally, spend some time learning about how you can be an effective supporter of your queer friends, trans people, and the LGBTQIA+ community as a whole. You can also visit these links to learn about LGBTQIA+ history in Houston, Austin, and Dallas.
This year’s Pride Month comes at a crucial point in history, as protesters across the country are standing up against the systemic oppression of Black Americans. Just this month, two Black transgender women, Riah Milton and Dominique “Rem’Mie” Fells, were killed, adding to a growing trend of violence towards Black transgender women across the country. Police brutality affects transgender Americans of color as well, with 58% of transgender survey respondents reporting mistreatment by police.
As GLAAD said in a statement this month, “there can be no Pride if it is not intersectional.” As we stand up for LGBTQIA+ equality, it’s important to remember that BIPOC members of the community face unique challenges and disadvantages, and that Pride wouldn’t exist without Black trans activists. This Pride Month, here are a few ways you can support and advocate for the queer community against homophobia, racism, and discrimination.
- Follow and engage with organizations promoting LGBTQIA+ equality.
- Promote donation drives for queer and trans BIPOC.
- Follow and amplify posts from LGBTQIA+ advocates of color.
- If you are able, attend a BLM protest in your community.
- For allies, use your privilege to call out homophobic and transphobic behavior.
- Vote for candidates that support anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQIA+ people.
- Sign petitions and write to legislators about LGBTQIA+ issues.
- Support LGBT-owned businesses, especially bars and restaurants that may be struggling from the pandemic.
- If you are an ally, don’t center your voice or your experiences in conversations about LGBTQIA+ equality.
As always, June isn’t the only month we can celebrate Pride. With a half-century of progress behind our backs, we can work together for the next 50 years of acceptance and equality. And hopefully, we’ll all see each other in-person once the Pride parades return next year.