It’s officially the brightest and “pridest” month of the year!
Aligned with Journeys Core Value #4: Encourage Individuality and Embrace Diversity, we work to continuously support the LGBTQ community. This month, we want to take you through the easiest, most effective, and most importantly, free ways to show your pride and allyship.
1. Create Art
One of the most impactful ways to make your mark this month is to create something beautiful, meaningful, or fresh. Your personal perspective on Pride can be crafted to portray your emotions, evoke emotion from others, create conversation, or spread a message.
You’d be shocked at the awareness that art can create. Something as small as a tiny sketch or doodle can make a lasting impact on another person. Just think, the original Pride flag was designed by an artist to make a statement.
Over forty years ago, artist and activist Gilbert Baker unveiled his original design of the Pride Flag. He carefully selected each color to represent a different part of the community: pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sun, green for nature, turquoise for art, indigo for harmony, and violet for spirit. Since then, the flag has undergone minor adjustments, but the base of the art and the sentiment are still the same. Look at everything it has come to represent in the community today!
2. Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize
Alright, this one’s simple:
- Go thrifting in your own closet. Go ahead and dig through all of your drawers to see what you’ve got. Go get those old Halloween costumes, dress-up clothes, doll accessories…anything goes.
- Audit your accessories. Lay out your haul and see what you’ve got to work with.
- Use every color of the rainbow to put together your perfect Pride ensemble!
- Flaunt your fit with “pride” and confidence.
You can’t have the perfect Pride outfit without being a little “extra,” and there’s no such thing as too much color when it comes to sporting the colors of the flag. Sure there’s plenty of Pride merch and apparel for purchase in stores and online, but it can be even more meaningful and way more fashionable to craft your own rainbow fits for events and festivities.
3. Support Orgs That Care
The best way to show your pride is by supporting an organization with a defined mission and goal of helping the LGBTQ community. From advocacy and activism to education and safety, do your research to find a nonprofit that aligns with your values!
It’s a common misunderstanding that you need money to make an impact within a nonprofit. Of course, donations are helpful and necessary, but your volunteer work can be just as supportive. We recommend giving whatever you’ve got, whether it’s time, resources, or unique skill sets and talents.
- You have a large social media following, and you regularly share an organization’s posts.
- You are a graphic designer and offer to create materials for your favorite org.
- You spend your weekends volunteering for the nonprofit at events, training, or facilities.
- You leave good reviews on forums discussing the org.
- You recommend the products or services of the nonprofit to someone in need of them!
A Journeys favorite for Pride Month and every month is The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth. With 24/7 call, text, and chat services, the team is always looking for new volunteers. In fact, they lead with the idea that “Hope starts with a volunteer.”
Explore the criteria for becoming a volunteer with The Trevor Project here, and get started today. If you have another organization you’d like to support, visit their website to find opportunities first. If you can’t find anything there, try reaching out via DM or email; you’ll be surprised what assistance YOU can provide them!
This year, Journeys has donated $100,000 to The Trevor Project. We stand in solidarity with their mission to guide, educate, counsel, and advocate for LGBTQ youth. In addition, we designed special Pride shirts for our employees! If they choose to, employees can purchase these shirts to wear in-store and show their pride. All proceeds are also being donated directly to The Trevor Project.
4. Attend Pride Parades & Other Festivities
Most Pride parades and festivities are free to enter! Check out what’s going on in your city with a simple internet search, and you may find some hidden gems in your surrounding areas.
Don’t sleep on Facebook events either. You can find Pride festivals, events, shows, parades, and even concert series and get all the details, including start and end times, cost (if any), guest performances, and more. So basically, we’re saying take a quick peek at Facebook before you solidify those plans for June.
At Journeys, we encourage our employees to get involved with their local Pride and other events. We offer all eligible employees eight hours of paid community outreach time every year. They are welcome to use it to volunteer for any 501c3 organizations they align with; however, every June, we encourage those that are interested to utilize their hours for local Pride events.
5. Continue to Learn, Research, & Grow
You can never be too informed, too educated, or have too much growth. The more we know and understand means the more we can participate in conversations that create positive change. It also means that we can help raise awareness among our own social circles.
Set aside reading and research hours as often as you can. It’s as simple as following along with activists and prominent members of the community on social media, seeking your own info online, or throwback vibes: checking out a book from the library!
With all of these free activities, we hope we have sparked a little inspiration for you this month! The steps you’re taking for the LGBTQ community don’t have to end on June 30th. Yes, this is the month dedicated to celebrating, honoring, and raising community awareness, but you can show your pride this month, next month, and every month to come. This is only the beginning of our long journey of better understanding, supporting, and loving each other.