For the past few years, I’ve loved going to Pride. When I realized it was going to be part of the long list of events impacted because of COVID-19, my heart sank.
Pride is a time for the LGBTQ community to come together and to celebrate our identities in a society that, even during the best-case scenarios, only tolerates us. Pride is a time to dance, sing, scream, and smile together. It’s a time to wrap ourselves in our flags and feel like superheroes for embracing who we are—because it takes courage to walk around with rainbows all over our bodies.
But if there’s one thing the LGBTQ community has always been talented at, it’s making the best with what we have while hoping and fighting for better days. It only seems appropriate that we continue the tradition at a time when the world is in immense pain. Spreading joy and love can only help.
Below are nine ideas to throw your own Pride celebration at home.
- Decorate your place
The first step to celebrating Pride at home is, of course, decorating with a ton of colors. Get some balloons, either rainbow-colored balloons or lettered balloons that say “PRIDE” to feature on the ‘gram! Pair the balloons with confetti to throw around, and you’ll have the perfect photo moment.
You can also buy flags and hang some string lights around for a festive atmosphere, depending on what you want the vibe to feel like.
- Create a playlist & have a dance party
Pride usually involves tons of dancing, dancing, and more dancing. JK, we also carry around a lot of signs calling for fundamental human rights, but you can’t deny that a Lady Gaga tune makes the march that much sassier.
So, girls and gays, now is the time to compile every song that makes you feel proud. Whether it’s an anthem by King Princess, Hailey Kiyoko, or Harry Styles, it has to make you feel powerful. And don’t just sit down on your couch as you listen! I need you to put on your party outfit, and move your coffee table out of the way to create extra space. Go all out, because you deserve to celebrate.
- Watch uplifting LGBTQ shows & movies
If you’re an introvert or you’d rather not start a long virtual Zoom party, throw a casual binge-watching night at home with your supportive family or roommates. From Love, Simon to Gentleman Jack and Schitt’s Creek, there’s something out there for you. You can also opt for drama movies like Moonlight or Call Me By Your Name.
- Make your own gay apparel
I’ve seen so many cute Pride DIYs all over TikTok recently. Isolation has everyone feeling creative and artsy, so why not hop on the bandwagon this month?
Many creators have shared their tips to create custom tote bags by painting or knitting. Get yourself some colorful paint and start planning for your work of art. You can choose to decorate with empowering quotes, or paint a couple kissing—just whatever accompanies your Pride style. You’ll leave quarantine with a unique accessory to add to your wardrobe.
- Bake a rainbow cake, because why not?
It’s no secret that the gays love to bake. It might even be one of our signature talents.
Baking an exuberant Pride-themed cake or dessert with fancy rainbow icing honestly sounds like the move right now. So, throw on a fun apron and get to it. The more colorful the sprinkles, the better. Try following this recipe!
- Learn about the history of Pride
Too often, corporate interests come first and Pride becomes a commercialized celebration. It’s important to remember how Pride came to be what it is today, and to refocus on all the reasons we need to keep up the fight.
Personally, I love learning about history and watching documentaries, so I will likely watch something like that online. PBS made the documentary Stonewall Uprising available to stream. This is a great resource to learn about the famous Stonewall Inn in New York City, where the riots marked a major turning point in the modern LGBTQ rights movement. I highly recommend the short film Paris Is Burning, which explores early ball culture in New York city. The movie touches on issues of racism and poverty in the LGBTQ community, and it features interviews with renowned drag queen Pepper LeBeija.
- Fundraise for LGBTQ groups and nonprofits
Another way to get involved is to fundraise for nonprofits. Fundraising is an incredibly empowering activity, especially at a time where many of us at home watch negative events unfold and feel powerless. Raising money for a nonprofit is a simple way to achieve meaningful change while keeping others safe.
If you’re into graphic design, you could create an Instagram story template to encourage others to donate via Venmo, before you transfer all the money raised to the charity online. Pair this with a Facebook fundraiser post on your profile where people can donate to the organization directly. If you want to give it your all, you could even make a TikTok to raise awareness for an organization’s mission, and include the newly added “donate” button! I did this recently to benefit the Italian Red Cross and was so surprised to raise over $250. Encourage your friends and family to donate by explaining what the organization does and what that means to you.
Unsure where to give? Here is an extensive list of 16 LGBTQ organizations worth donating to. My favorites are GLSEN, which fights to improve the bullying and discrimination problem against LGBTQ students in schools, and GLAAD, which works to increase fair representation of the LGBTQ community in the media.
- Support queer-run businesses
With the pandemic, many businesses are struggling to stay afloat. From Seattle to Charlotte, bar owners are coming to terms with the cancellation of Pride, which often brings in a lot of revenue. Because many LGBTQ workers hold jobs in restaurant and food services as well as retail industries, the community is overall more likely to impacted by economic fallout, according to the Human Rights Campaign Foundations.
If you want to help out, order takeaway food or drinks from a local queer-run bars, and treat yourself to new clothes from a queer-run store too! Every little action adds up and makes a difference for these hard-hit businesses.
- Attend a virtual Pride event
Last but not least, I can’t forget about all the virtual Pride events happening this year!
Pride organizations around the world have come together to organize a Global Pride event on June 27, in response to the hundreds of celebrations that have been canceled because of the pandemic. Global Pride will include musical performances, speeches, and key messages from human rights activists. Plan ahead to attend with your friends and get the (at-home) party started.
While Pride will not feel the same at home, practicing social distancing is the best way to protect minorities, who are more at risk of catching the virus. Think of it as an initiative to look out for the community. Take this time to get creative at home and educate yourself on LGBTQ rights.