Every year in June millions of people around the world celebrate the LGBTQ+ community in what’s known as Pride Month. Pride Month has also come to symbolize the need for love and acceptance of all people, regardless of sexual or gender orientation. Celebrating Pride Month means celebrating a human being’s right to love whomever they want.
As with any awareness campaign, you don’t have to have a direct connection to the cause to participate or show your support. In fact, demonstrating allyship is an important part of making the world a more tolerant and accepting place. Equally important is the message of acceptance sent to children who might be questioning their own sexuality and wondering how people will treat them after they come out.
In short, Pride Month is a great opportunity to model love, respect, and acceptance – three things we all want our children to show and be shown. If you’re looking for family-friendly ways to support or participate in Pride Month this year, here are some ideas.
Design-Your-Own Pride Flag
The iconic rainbow Pride flag was designed by Glibert Blake for the 1978 Pride parade in San Francisco. But what if it wasn’t? Have some fun and let your kids express their true colours by inviting them to design their own flag.
Attend the Pride Parade
Many major cities around the world recognize Pride Month with an annual parade. Here’s what’s planned for Canada this summer, including Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, and Ottawa. Given the ever-changing COVID-19 situation, however, the best way to find out what’s happening near you is to search “Pride events near me”.
Fly the Flag
Show your support by flying any one of the LGBTQ+ community’s designated flags, or plant one in your garden. Pride Palace is currently giving away free flags if you pay for shipping. You can also find a good selection and a variety of sizes online.
Read a Book
Teach Your Kids About an LGBTQ+ Hero
Follow theeverymom.com’s example and teach your kids about one or more of the LGBTQ+ community’s heroes and trailblazers, such as Barbara Gittings. Thanks to her efforts, the American Psychiatric Association stopped classifying homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973.
Eat the Rainbow
Anyone in the mood for rainbow cake? How about rainbow fudge, rainbow waffles, or rainbow spaghetti? Check out these recipes or visit delish.com’s list of 30 rainbow-inspired foods that are as fun to make as they are to eat. Because every great celebration should include food!
Learn What it Means to be an Ally
Download and discuss The Trevor Project’s 11-page Guide to Being an Ally to Transgender and non-Binary Youth.
Support Companies that Support Pride
Companies like Disney, the Gap, Reebok and even Petsmart are leading the way when it comes to publicly showing their support for Pride Month. But true allyship is making sure the company you’re buying from is really walking the walk when it comes to promoting diversity and inclusion. So whether you’re buying locally or from a big brand, make sure your dollars are supporting a company that does more than profit from selling rainbow-themed merchandise.
Make a Donation
If your kids are looking for a place to donate birthday, allowance, or garage sale money, encourage them to look up local or national organizations that are dedicated to supporting the LGBTQ+ community. In Canada, PFLAG is the only national organization that serves all Canadians with issues of sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, but there are many smaller city- or province-wide organizations as well. A quick online search will help you find the right one.
Happy Pride Month!