Seven Pride Month Traditions to Start with Your Family
From displaying flags to attending events, you can celebrate the advancement of equality for all.
Come June, parades and other activities take place in order to commemorate the events at Stonewall in 1969 and for the LGBTQ+ community to stand up in pride for who they are as people. Even with social distancing measures still in place for some, families have many options for celebrating Pride Month with their children and relatives. Here, we asked representatives of LGBTQ+ advocacy groups for their suggestions on starting your own traditions right at home.
Show Your Colors
Pride Month is commonly signified with the rainbow but there are a myriad number of flags that represent the many identities across the LGBTQ+ community. "Families can decorate their home with or make Pride flags and discuss the importance of all the colors," says Tatiana Quiroga, director of family equity and diversity at Family Equality. The colors each have meaning that can be a starting point for discussion within the family. And if you're part of an LGBTQ+ family, it can be good to show your pride with a flag that represents you.
Attend LGBTQ+ Events
Catherine Hyde, a PFLAG National board member, says that one of the ways that families can show their support for the LGBTQ+ community is by attending Pride Month events virtually, if not in person. PFLAG has chapters all across the United States, and families can find their local chapters to get involved with fun and educational activities that share Pride and promote allyship. Go to the Find A Chapter page to begin your search.
Support LGBTQ+-Owned Businesses
This is an activity that can be a year-round tradition. Hyde also recommends that families find ways to support their local LGBTQ+-owned businesses. But how can you find which businesses are owned by LGBTQ+ people? Start with a search online via the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) for businesses in your local area, then support the community with your pocketbook.
Donate to LGBTQ+ Non-Profits
According to research by the Williams Institute, LGBTQ+ youth represent as much as 40 percent of the homeless youth population-and that's just one statistic. "Families can look for local non-profits that serve the LGBTQ+ community and that accept money, food, or clothing donations," says Quiroga. "Then, they can collect donations from their friends, family, and community to drop off at the non-profit."
Watch Representative Movies
"Have a movie night with LGBTQ+ movies and shows," suggests Hyde. Have plenty of snacks and spend the evening watching different portrayals-it can be the perfect opportunity to discuss any questions or concerns, as well as have an open conversation about what it means to be LGBTQ+ and the validity of the various experiences within the community.
Read Educational Books
Another way for families to share Pride Month with their children is through literature. Hyde suggests having a family reading night: Books like 10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert, ABC: A Family Alphabet Book by Bobbie Combs, and Cookies and Cake & The Families We Make by Jennifer L. Egan all explain the different types of families and the value of our differences in an easy-to-understand way for small children who will also learn acceptance for themselves and others.
Have Continuous Conversations
While Pride Month occurs in June, it's important to recognize that LGBTQ+ pride is an everyday experience. "The best way to celebrate Pride with your family is by starting or having continuous conversations with your kiddos," says Quiroga. "As parents, we want our children to know we love and accept everyone but especially them!" Love, acceptance, and diversity should always be part of the conversation.