By Christian Robinson
Pride Month may have concluded – but community and celebration of identity shouldn’t be confined to just a single month. It’s about honoring our predecessors that fought for our rights, and recognizing how their work has elevated us today.
When I first learned about the history of Pride and how the annual celebration came to be, I was taking a queer cultural studies course in college. I was surprised that I had never heard about the Stonewall riots before that time in my life. Not from my peers, family, or even in a high school history class.
The more I think about it, growing up, I learned about Black history from my family, be it about notable civil rights activists like Malcolm X or Dr. Martin Luther King. Even in casual conversation, I recall my grandmother mentioning stories of her negative encounters growing up during segregation. My grandfather sharing his less than fair encounters during his career with a gas company.
In retrospect, I didn’t have that when it came to my queer identity. In all honesty, no one in my family had even mentioned the word gay or queer at that point in my life. No one taught me the rich and expansive history behind queerness, or ever discussed queer historical figures.
My queer identity was undeveloped to say the least, and I didn’t know how much so. It’s not something that’s formed overnight, it’s built on experiences. How could I possibly figure that out in a month? Just as my Blackness does not go away at the end of Black History Month in February, my queer identity doesn’t go away at the end of June.
During this year’s Pride Month, I made it a point to think of things I can do to treat every month like Pride Month. The first thing that I think is important is educating yourself and engaging with LGBTQ-related content year-round. Sure, we may get more LGBTQ content during Pride Month. Why stop there? Subscribe to LGBTQ-run or inclusive media channels that are not just informative but informed.
Amplify the voice of those advocating for you. If you love social media as much as I do, you know a share or retweet goes a long way. This helps to jumpstart conversations with people all over the globe and bring awareness to topics of importance.
Get involved all throughout the year. Join and be active in a community that not just acknowledges you but supports you. Attend local LGBTQ+ events that target a hobby you have. Look for local LGBTQ+-owned businesses, actively support and amplify them, and help grow your local economy in the process.
These are just a few things I plan to do throughout the year. July may signal the conclusion of Pride Month, but don’t let that stop you from showing your Pride. Continue to learn, advocate, and be active in your community.
Christian Robinson is a Supplier Diversity Associate at NGLCC. He obtained his B.S. in Communications Media: Print Journalism from Bowie State University.