It’s June, and if you’ve ever seen the Rogers and Hammerstein musical Carousel, you know what song will be stuck in this resident theatre kid’s head for approximately 30 days. Aside from this musical theatre earworm, June is Pride Month, honoring LGBTQ culture: its challenges, triumphs, and the progress yet to come. Whether you identify as part of the community or are just… well, a human being believing in human rights, Pride is a celebration, a remembrance, and a riot all at once.
Here’s what I’m going to be doing this month:
Eat: Support queer-owned eateries this month. If you’re looking for the nearest to you, check out Yelp and search out their LGBTQ-owned feature. (I took a road trip several years ago and was able to navigate my options via this option through conservative states that are navigating anti-LGBTQ legislature. OKC is a secret queer haven!) You can read more about how this feature functions here!
See: Immerse yourself in the history of Pride. If you have not already watched the Netflix documentary Disclosure about trans representation in the media, it’s a must-watch. Paris is Burning is a documentary about drag culture in late 1980s New York City, but is truly much more than that: it celebrates the community and found family. (At time of writing, it is available on Max, the platform formally known as HBO Max.) Finally, it’s important to center stories of queer joy as much as the history of pain and progress. Might I recommend Love, Simon? Centered on the title character, Simon, it’s about as fluffy and rom-com as a coming-out story can get.
Do: Target recently pulled some merchandise from its Pride collection due to threats of domestic terrorism that impacted employees’ sense of safety. The way Target has settled the issue has caused strong opinions among folks who disagree with the call: some feel Target should have stood by their decision by keeping these pieces in stores. Others, such as designer Erik Carnell, whose products were among the ones recalled, understood the need to center employee safety given the number of states with open carry gun laws.
To have Pride merchandise appear in Target stores was a huge step for many of these designers. You can support Erik Carnell through his brand, Abprallen, here, though this is a great reminder to search out queer designers and retailers year-round, especially for Pride merch. Check out this list from 2022 here.
Have a proud month.