The first Pride march took place in New York to commemorate the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Today, Pride is celebrated throughout June. People celebrate the significant impact LGBTQIA+ people have made in the world through various activities and events. Pride is an excellent opportunity to teach all kids about love and acceptance but is especially meaningful for LGBTQIA+ kids. If you're the parent or caregiver of an LGBTQIA+ child, you may be wondering how you can support them this Pride. We've put together a list of ways you can celebrate together.
One of the best ways to celebrate Pride is to join in the festivities as a family. You could go to a parade, do a fun run, attend a drag show, or see a concert together. There are also picnics, story times, and festivals. Search online or in your local newspaper to find the events and activities near you. Since Pride falls in the summer, most of these events will be held outdoors. It will be hot, so don't forget to take water and some snacks. Other backpack essentials include sunscreen, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, hats, and sunglasses.
Painting, drawing, and crafting are the perfect activities for rainy and lazy days. Making Pride-themed art is a fun way to celebrate and a chance for kids to learn about colors. You could create your own rainbow, for example. Rainbows have been an emblem of the LGBTQIA+ community since the '70s when Gilbert Baker designed the LGBTQIA+ flag. You could also make your own flags or placards for attending Pride parades and events. Tie-dying kids' T-shirts is another fun activity to do together.
Is there anything better than cuddling up under a blanket and diving nose-first into a good book? Pride Month is the ideal opportunity to learn more about the LGBTQIA+ community and movement. This is also a great activity to share with your child to grow and learn together. Ask your local library or search online to find recommendations for LGBTQIA+ kids. If they're still tots, you can read to them. If they're teens, they may prefer to pick out their own book and read alone. You can always offer to read the same book and discuss the contents later with them.
Books are not the only thing that can help affirm an LGBTQIA+ child's world. Kids need to see themselves and other identities represented in the media they consume. Around Pride, many streaming services create lists of kid-friendly LGBTQIA+ movies and shows. You can also find title suggestions online. Watching these movies and shows together can spark meaningful dialogues between family members. It can also help LGBTQIA+ kids feel more comfortable expressing who they are. Make it fun by organizing a family movie night. It's quick and easy to do. Just get everyone in their comfy clothes, make some popcorn, and settle in on the couch.
Understanding the history of the LGBTQIA+ community is an integral part of celebrating pride and supporting LGBTQIA+ kids. Books are one place to start, but not everyone loves to read. Help them put their kids' sneakers on and take them to a museum instead. Exhibits about Stonewall and Pride are another fun way to learn history.
If it's too far away to visit in person, many museums offer virtual tours and activities online. Another way to learn about the history of the LGBTQIA+ movement is through oral history. Invite your LGBTQIA+ friends, family, or community members over for a coffee and chat. LGBTQIA+ kids will get to hear directly from people who understand them and learn through their experiences. If this is not possible, you can watch documentaries where LGBTQIA+ people share their stories.
Young musicians, singers, and auditory learners will love celebrating Pride with music. You can throw a karaoke party or host a danceathon. If family and friends play instruments, invite them over for a fun jam session. Online music streaming services also offer curated playlists for Pride. There are hours of fun in listening to and singing these empowering songs. You can also write your own songs or choreograph a unique dance together. Put on some yoga pants, clear a space in your home or the backyard, and get ready to rock.
For LGBTQIA+ kids, clothing plays an important role in how they choose to present themselves to the world. Teens, especially, may go through many phases of experimental dressing. Take them shopping and let them pick out whatever makes them most comfortable. Even if it's just one item or accessory, this can go a long way in helping them feel at ease in their own skin. Help them shop for gender-neutral pieces or Pride clothing to show your support.
The most important way to show up for LGBTQIA+ kids this Pride is to make sure they feel seen, safe, and loved. Celebrate this special time together by trying out some of the activities on this list.