Children, teens, and adults are increasingly identifying as LGBTQ+. According to the global analytic firm Gallup, 20.8% of Gen Z adults in the US identify as LGBTQ+ as of 2022. Chances are, you have someone in your life to celebrate this Pride Month. Whether you are celebrating someone you care about or even yourself, here are 4 ideas to honor Pride Month this year.
1. Ask for people’s pronouns, and share yours. Trans, non-binary, and queer folks may use pronouns other than he/she. Learning a person’s pronouns demonstrates respect and care for the LGBTQ+ community and can help prevent accidentally misgendering someone (the act of incorrectly assuming another person’s gender). We don’t know until we ask! Keep it simple. Ask: What are your pronouns? Model the sharing of pronouns by saying, “Hi, I’m Emily, and I use they/she pronouns.”
2. Celebrate identities. When a friend or loved one shares their sexuality or gender identity with you, our immediate feeling may be of worry or concern for potential hardship this person may face from others (such as homophobia or transphobia). Respond instead with joy and congratulations in order to recognize this person’s accomplishment of living their authentic self. And if you identify as LGBTQ+, connect with other LGBTQ+ folks who love and celebrate you.
3. Enjoy diverse media representation. Most books, television shows, and movies feature heteronormative characters and storylines, which leaves queer folks feeling invisible and unimportant. Consuming media made by LGBTQ+ people or featuring queer and trans storylines and characters is a great way to celebrate the queer community with your loved ones. Search the internet to find recommendations for positive and diverse LGBTQ+ representation in media. Then plan a movie night or find a fun new book to enjoy this summer.
4. Learn about queer history. Many know about the Stonewall Riots, but LGBTQ+ history spans much more than just the 20th century, from ancient histories across continents to the diverse queer cultures of our recent past. Learning about queer history connects people to LGBTQ+ historical figures and traditions that have been forgotten and unacknowledged by the average history textbook. Discovering that queer and trans people have been living fulfilling, loving, and historically significant lives for hundreds of years is definitely worth celebrating.
Enjoy Pride Month!