June Is Pride Month: 24 Ways to Celebrate Pride and LGBTQ Rights

The arrival of June brings with it the celebration of Pride, a vibrant, rainbow-filled recognition of the LGBTQ community that is marked by over-the-top parades, jam-packed rallies, and marches in cities across the country.

Whether you're a member of the LGBTQ community or consider yourself an ally, here are 24 ways to celebrate Pride Month at home with your kids. For local parades and rallies, be sure to check your area's calendar of events.

Why is June Pride Month?

June is recognized as Pride Month to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall riots at New York City's Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969. A police raid of the Stonewall Inn, a known gay bar in New York City's Greenwich Village, led to days-long protests that ignited a national firestorm of activism and elevated the fight for LGBTQ equality. Pride events celebrate the uprising annually, with many celebrations scheduled around the last weekend in June.

What Is Pride Month?

In addition to recognizing the decades-long—and still ongoing—fight for equal rights in the LGBTQ community, Pride is meant to be an affirming celebration of all that the community has accomplished. While images abound of over-the-top, colorful costumes at Pride marches and rallies, there are many ways to celebrate Pride, from learning the history of the movement to supporting the diverse array LGBTQ voices, taking in a family-friendly film, supporting local LGBT businesses and charities, and more.

Here are our top picks:

Illegal to Be You: Gay History Beyond Stonewall. Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Learn About LGBTQ History

1. Now a National Monument, you can visit the Stonewall Inn online at the colorful Stonewall Forever virtual monument, where visitors can manipulate a crystalized rainbow to discover nuggets of history and add their own voices to the conversation.

2. While you're visiting Stonewall Forever virtually, be sure to stream the documentary of the same name, which is most appropriate for teens and up.

3. Read up on a dozen leaders in LGBTQ history.

4. Visit the Smithsonian National Museum of American History's Illegal to be You: Gay History Beyond Stonewall online exhibition.

5. Or check out the Stonewall at 50 on the New-York Historical Society's website.

Visit the Trevor Project's guide to being an ally. Photo courtesy of the project

Educate Yourself to Become an Ally

6. The Trevor Project, an advocacy program for LGBTQ youth has published a FREE, downloadable Guide to Being an Ally to Transgender and Non-Binary Youth that's a great jumping-off point.

7. Visit the Human Rights Campaign's Glossary of Terms to school yourself on vocabulary related to gender identity and expressions.

8. Pay attention to pronouns. From name tags to email signatures, you may have noticed preferred pronouns are getting a lot of attention lately. Here's why.

Read Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag with young children. Photo courtesy of Penguin Random House

Diversify Your Home Library

9. Pick up a copy of I Am Jazz, the real-life story of young trans activist Jazz Jennings.

10. Todd Parr's The Family Book is filled with his trademark brightly-hued illustration and a simple storyline that celebrates families of all types.

11. Learn the story of Harvey Milk and the symbolism behind the rainbow flag in Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag. Another pick from author Rob Sanders: Stonewall: A Building, An Uprising, A Revolution.

12. Introduce your child to same-sex families with Heather Has Two Mommies or Daddy, Papa, and Me

13. Read the empowering Pink is for Boys in an effort to set aside gender stereotypes.

Movies that Celebrate the LGBTQ Experience for Teens

Out, which is part of Disney+'s SparkShorts series, features Pixar's first gay main character. Photo courtesy of Disney

14. Brokeback Mountain (2005): This Ang Lee film, based on the short story of the same name, depicts the love story of a pair of cowboys in Wyoming. Though they ultimately don't end up together, their lives are inextricably intertwined. Best for older teens and up.

15. Milk (2008): Sean Penn plays Harvey Milk in this biographical telling of the gay rights activist who became California's first openly gay elected official. Best for older teens and up.

16. Paris is Burning (1990): This documentary profiles the New York ball culture of the 1980s, focusing specifically on its minority participants from the black and Latino communities. Best for older teens and up.

17. The Kids Are All Right (2010): Follow the trials and tribulations of a lesbian couple whose teenage kids seek to build a relationship with their sperm-donor father. Best for older teens and up.

18. Moonlight (2016): This critically-acclaimed flick won the Best Picture award for its depiction of a coming-of-age story involving a black boy growing up on the streets of Miami who grapples with his sexuality. Best for older teens and up.

19. Love, Simon (2018): Simon's got a secret: He's gay. He fights to protect it and his identity in this endearing, relatable film.

20. For younger kids, the Disney + short Out is a good jumping-off point.

Kids can help create this Pride perfect rainbow cake Photo by the author

Throw a Pride Month Party of Your Own

21. First, you need to nail down a playlist. Might we suggest Andy Cohen's Ultimate Bravo Pride Playlist, Topisfy's Pride Party 2020 playlist, or The Disney Pride Playlist.

22. You'll also need some rainbow-hued snacks. Try your hand at this impressive, multi-leveled rainbow layer cake, or go simple with rainbow fruit skewers. Another easy recipe we like: Sub Fruity Pebbles for Rice Krispies in your favorite rice crispy treat recipe. Teen Vogue has a great round-up of Pride-themed recipes.

23. The rainbows popping up in everyone's windows are a nice jumping-off point for Pride decorations, but there are plenty of other pride-themed craft ideas out there. A few we like: Crafting a cool paper wreath, plant a rainbow sand art terrarium, and these pop-up rainbow cards.

24. If you'd prefer to decorate your body for the party, try making some of these rainbow pompom jewelry pieces, a multi-colored Pride bracelet, or brush up on your rainbow face-painting techniques.

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