June is right around the corner, and you know what that means: it is almost Pride month, a time to celebrate and recognize the impact that the LGBTQ+ community has had on society. It is a time to educate ourselves on LGBTQ+ history and continue the fight for equality. There are a myriad ways you can celebrate. Cities all over the country throw parades throughout June and July, all the way through September and October in the overheated South. You can donate to various LGBTQ+ organizations and of course continue to be an ally to others in the LGBTQ+ community.

We should all make it a goal to commemorate Pride in some way, so here are 6 ways to celebrate!

Educate Yourself

To truly be able to celebrate Pride month properly, you need to educate yourself first. Take some time to read up on LGBTQ+ history - including the Stonewall Riots in 1969. There are many different ways you can educate yourself on the meaning of Pride, like reading the book Pride by Matthew Todd

Go to a Pride Parade

Pride parades are not just a great way to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, they are also extremely fun. Gather some friends and put on your best colorful outfits and head to town. You can even gets matching gay pride shirts to wear! Going to your first Pride parade is something you will never forget, so make the most of it.

Donate to Organizations

If you don’t have the time to attend a parade but still want to celebrate in some way, you can donate to various LGBTQ+ organizations. This is a good way to give back to the community and raise money for charities in need. Some LGBTQ+ organizations to support are the National Center for Transgender Equality, LGBTQ Victory Fund, and GLSEN.

Be an Ally

Being an ally is one of the most important things you can do to support the LGBTQ+ community. Being an ally means educating yourself about the history of the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights and recognizing the hardships and discrimination that the community endures. Take some time to read up on gender identity vocabulary to ensure you always respect a person’s self-identification.

Support LGBTQ+ Creators

Make it a goal to support various LGBTQ+ creators. Take some time to watch movies with your family that are about the LGBTQ+ community, like Love, Simon and Brokeback Mountain. Support LGBTQ+ musicians during this month by purchasing their music and buying their apparel. 

Throw Your Own Pride Party

Can’t make it to a festival or parade or just want another way to celebrate? Why not throw your own Pride party! Get colorful decorations, pick out a good playlist, make some rainbow treats, and you’ve got yourself a great pride party. Invite your closest friends and plan out some fun activities to do, like tie-dying shirts, making jewelry, or doing face paint. Pride month is a time to have fun and celebrate with friends, so get creative with your party planning skills!

Pride is almost here and that means it’s time to break out your most colorful clothing and get to celebrating! This is a very special and important time for us to educate ourselves about the history of Pride and acknowledge all that the LGBTQ+ community has been through. But beyond just one month, it’s important to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community all year long. Whether you attend a pride parade in a city near you or donate to an LGBTQ+ organization, just make sure you do something to celebrate.

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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