Now that June has arrived, many people, alongside organizations, businesses, charities, and celebrities alike, have flooded social media with support for the LGBTQIA+ community in celebration of this year’s pride month.
Outside of the social media celebrations, however, finding ways to celebrate pride in person is a little more difficult this year, due to the slow easing of Covid-19 restrictions, many pride events have been cancelled or postponed, meaning that many are seeking new ways to celebrate in the meantime.
Why do we celebrate pride?
Pride Month is celebrated every year in June and sees in celebrations in the form of pride marches, events, and more. Pride exists as a tribute to the Stonewall riots of 1969, which saw protestors clash with police when a gay bar was raided in New York City. The police claimed this was due to the bar operating with an improper liqueur license, but this raid was one of many that had occurred for over 10 years beforehand. These raids gave police the excuse to invade safe spaces and arrest and violently harass LGBTQIA+ individuals.
Stonewall was the first time the LGBTQIA+ community fought back against this brutality. Lesbians, gay men and transgender women of colour were amongst some of the key protestors at Stonewall, who included Stormé DeLarverie, Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson.
The first pride march took place on the 28th of June 1970, and this year, in 2021 we now celebrate 51 years of pride.
In light of pride month, we decided to put together some of the best ways to celebrate pride here in Cumbria this year, to help kick off your celebrations in the best way possible....
Watch and Read LGBTQIA+ Content
A great way to celebrate pride this year is by supporting LGBTQIA+ creators through streaming or buying LGBTQIA+ films or books. Netflix has an entire section dedicated to pride and the BookTrust have a great list of LGBTQIA+ books that are must-reads this pride month. So, if you’re a fan of getting cozy and watching a film or reading a good book, or you’re more into movie nights with friends and pizza, then this could be a fab way for you to celebrate pride while we continue to wait for the world to open up in a more normal way.
Volunteer or Donate
If you’re interested in helping to create more direct meaningful change for the LGBTQIA+ community, then why not consider volunteering or donating to a local LGBTQIA+ charity? PiNC Cumbria is a great local organization that welcomes donations and volunteers over 18. If you’re under 18 and interested in getting involved, you can join PiNC as a youth group member. There are a variety of exciting group sessions and workshops you can get involved in and anyone aged 13-25 is welcome to get in touch with one of PiNC’s project workers to find out about upcoming sessions and workshops.
Throw a Pride Party
Depending on restrictions, you could even throw your own pride party with 6 friends safely indoors or outdoors! You could order rainbow party décor, use our LGBTQIA+ artist playlist to ensure you’ve got top tier tunes, get some rainbow centric food and drinks sorted (Check out Teen Vogue’s list for further ideas) and douse yourself in glitter and face paint to bring pride to your doorstep so you and your friends can enjoy it on a smaller scale while you wait for the real thing to return.
Attend Cumbria Pride
Last but certainly not least, you could plan and get ready for Cumbria Pride! Cumbria Pride will take place on Saturday the 25th of September 2021 and will start at Carlisle Castle. While you wait, you could organize a meet-up with friends to plan your outfits, where you want to go for food or drinks afterward, and what signs or other items you want to bring along. For your meet-up, you could get yourself out to a local restaurant or café to make the most of your organizing and make memories while you wait.
Do you have any plans to celebrate this pride month? Let us know in the comments below!