June 1 marks the start of LGBTQ Pride Month. The annual commemoration honors the Stonewall riots, a 1969 revolt led by Black and Latinx trans women against police violence at New York’s Stonewall Inn. To celebrate, city streets transform into vibrant works of art as demonstrators waving rainbow flags remember the origins of Pride Month or celebrate queer love and joy.
As more people get vaccinated and Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, many Pride celebrations have returned to streets, parks and indoor events. But if you’re still concerned about the pandemic and would rather observe Pride while socially distancing (or among a group of close pals), we have you covered. Below, find some fun and safe commemorative ideas.
Organize a virtual drag brunch.
If you’ve enjoyed a few virtual karaoke brunches during the pandemic (raises hand!), you know it’s totally possible to also organize a digital drag brunch. Invite some local drag performers who haven’t worked as much as usual due to the pandemic and organize a virtual food-and-show performance. Guests can chew down their favorite breakfast, cheers their mimosas to their laptop screen and make a suggested donation that directly supports the queer performers.
Start a month-long book club.
While it’s important to read literature by queer authors year-round, Pride Month is an ideal time to get intentional about the books on your reading list. Consider starting a month-long book club with your friends. Each week, you and your squad could read a different novel, biography or memoir and set a time to discuss it during a Zoom call. Some titles to consider: David Carter’s Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution, Gabby Rivera’s Juliet Takes a Breath, Janet Mock’s Redefining Realness and Misa Sugiura’s It’s Not Like It’s a Secret.
Have a movie night.
Whether you want to binge-watch an entire series (we recommend Pose!) or have a movie night (or weekend, or weekends!), get your friends together for an intimate time in. Buy all your favorite theater treats, make some popcorn and start crossing titles off your watch list. Here are some you might want to add to that list: documentaries, like The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, Paris is Burning, Disclosure, Do I Sound Gay and All in My Family, as well as flicks like, Moonlight, A Fantastic Woman, The Way He Looks, Love Simon and Rafiki.
Fundraise for a community group.
If you don’t have time to organize a virtual drag brunch but still want to support community-based LGBTQ groups, consider starting or donating to a fundraiser. There are so many people and groups doing amazing work that need resources to sustain themselves or expand their reach. Whether it’s a homeless shelter like Washington, DC’s Casa Ruby, a legal aid like New York’s Sylvia Rivera Law Project, an arts and education collective like San Juan’s La Sombrilla Cuir or a community member’s gender confirmation surgery, donating or collecting funds for a group or individual doing critical work to serve, house, aid and advocate for LGBTQ communities locally can be transformative.
Host a virtual watch party.
If you’re not quite ready to be amid a major crowd but wouldn’t mind watching others gather, organize a virtual watch party for The NYC Pride March. The event, which will include a march, several live performances, interviews and multiple side events, will stream live from noon to 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 27.