If you are looking for something cool to do this Pride month, Random Acts of kindness never go out of style!
Here are five ways that you can support your local LGBTQIA+ community in June (and all year long):
1. Donate LGBTQIA+ books to libraries
If you have any favorite books that celebrate the community, chances are someone else will enjoy them, too. Consider donating LGBTQIA+ books, movies, and music to your local library.
You can help display books of pride and celebration in a prominent spot, such as the library’s entrance, for Pride month. This may increase awareness of the LGBTQIA+ community, which, in turn, may inspire more individuals to get involved and spread acceptance.
Another option is to work with your local library to create a permanent section if they do not already have one. If they do have one, expand it! Remember first to contact the library to make sure they accept donations.
If your library does not have the capacity for donations, you can build your own free library! These often look like colorful boxes on posts and can be placed in parks, outside your home, or other public spaces. Please check local laws and contact the appropriate authorities before placing your library in a public area or business.
2. Donate chest binders to local LGBTQIA+ groups
Binding helps the chest look flatter, which can help individuals feel more comfortable and confident in their own bodies. Chest binders are not without risk, so it is important to buy from reputable companies and promote safe binding practices. A compression-free alternative to traditional binders is TransTape.
Donating body transformation systems like these are especially helpful in areas where it is difficult to buy one, such as Latin America and US states such as Florida, Tennessee, and Texas.
3. Donate hygiene bags for unsheltered LGBTQIA+ youth
Among various demographics, LGBTQIA+ youth are at a 120% higher risk of experiencing some form of homelessness, and according to The Trevor Project, “28% of LGBTQ youth reported experiencing homelessness or housing instability at some point in their lives.”
One way that you can help is to donate basic hygiene supplies. Access to showers and toilets is often a challenge for those living on the streets, never mind the smaller items necessary to stay clean. Some items often needed include soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste, period products, lotion, chapstick, hair brushes, and deodorant.
After putting these items together into goodie bags, you can then distribute them to unsheltered LGBTQIA+ youth in your area. Remember to contact your local shelter and ask what supplies they need most before donating.
4. Support Chosen Names, Genders, and Pronouns
Using a person’s chosen name, as well as their correct gender and pronouns, is a great way to help individuals feel more comfortable. Adding your own pronouns to your social media, email signatures, and other online spaces can encourage others to feel more comfortable doing the same.
Using new names, genders, and pronouns can be challenging at first — for the one changing their name and for everyone they interact with. If you struggle to adjust to using new monikers, remember to be patient, practice, correct yourself, and move forward.
5. Distribute Pride Accessories
Just like the rainbow, sexuality is a spectrum. A simple way to share support for the LGBTQIA+ community is to proudly wear the colors. This spreads the message that all genders and sexualities are valid and accepted. This can help LGBTQIA+ individuals feel more comfortable with freely expressing themselves.
Where it is safe and legal to do so, you can distribute the items on busy streets or in public parks. You can reach out to local sports teams, schools, businesses, restaurants, churches, and other community groups. Some accessories that are easy to distribute include pins, lanyards, shoelaces, and ribbons.
Wearing rainbows or colors representing specific LGBTQIA+ identities (such as the light blue, light pink, and white on the trans flag) also creates educational opportunities.
If someone asks why you wear those colors, your response can help lessen the social stigma surrounding LGBTQIA+ identities. If you are not comfortable replying with a personal story, you can also share educational resources or give a simple “I believe everyone should have the freedom to love who they love.”
Kindness is contagious. When more people proudly show acceptance of what others view as socially taboo, eventually, the taboo becomes the norm.