Celebrating Austin Pride at Home

Austins Pride week is August 9 - 15 this year, and would usually culminate in the big Austin PRIDE parade and festival at Fiesta Gardens. Unfortunately, the in-person event has been canceled this year due to COVID-19 safety concerns, but dont let that get in the way of the celebration!

Pride is a time dedicated to celebration, remembrance, love, and support in and for the LGBTQ+ community. Pride is a time to remember and recognize the strength and sacrifice of those who have and continue to fight for civil rights. It is a time to celebrate the successes, the community and culture, and a time to be proud in the face of the shame and stigma so often faced by LGBTQ+ folx. Whether you are queer or an ally, Pride is important.

Last year, the Austin YMCA association took part in the Pride Parade for the very first time! We had a blast celebrating our pride by marching and dancing down Congress Street with hundreds of other people. The Y is for ALL and being included in Austin Pride was a milestone moment for us. Additionally, the Hays Communities YMCA hosted OutYouth teens for an all-inclusive swim party where everyone could be their authentic selves. The YMCA of Austin is committed to providing safe spaces for all youth and have high hopes for the opportunity to do this again soon.  

So, when all of these activities seem to be out of reach, how can we celebrate Austin Pride from home? Here are a few ideas to feel the joy, and connect with and support our local LGBTQ+ community while were safely social distancing:

1. Advocate, donate, volunteer! Here are a few local organizations you can support:       

Out Youth Austin

Mission:Out Youth promotes the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social well being of sexual and gender minority youth so that they can openly and safely explore and affirm their identities.” 

Get Involved: www.outyouth.org

Austin Black Pride

Mission: Our mission is to transform the living and social environments of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) people of color with a focus on Black LGBTQ individuals. We aim to create multicultural opportunities that educate, celebrate, and empower LGBTQ individuals of color through the creation and/or facilitation of culturally specific programs, policy, advocacy, partnerships, and relationship building.”

Get Involved: www.austinblackpride.org

allgo

Mission:allgo celebrates and nurtures vibrant queer people of color communities in Texas and beyond. We do this through cultural arts, wellness, and social justice programming by: supporting artists and artistic expression within our diverse communities; promoting health within a wellness model; and mobilizing and building coalitions among groups marginalized by race/ethnicity, gender/gender identity, sexual orientation/sexual identity in order to enact change.”

Get Involved: https://allgo.org/

Equality Texas

Mission:Equality Texas works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration.”

Get Involved: www.equalitytexas.org

2. Hang up a pride flag outside your house. Dont have one? Could be a fun arts & crafts project!

3. Watch, read, and listen to LGBTQ+ stories, and learn about LGBTQ+ history  

Reading Recommendations: Check out these recommendations from the Austin Public library

Podcasts Recommendations: Check out this list of recommendations from GLAAD

Internet Resources: For suggestions of internet resources on LGBTQ+ history in the United States, check out this list of recommendations from Elon University.

Movies & TV: Browse a wide variety of movies and television that feature LGBTQ+ stories on Netflix here.

4. Participate in local, virtual events

All Genders, Lifestyles, and Identities Film Festival (aGLIFF) This local festival is going virtual this year, and will feature more than 65 films from Texas artists that showcase the diverse experiences of LGBTQ+ people. The festival is over two weekends: August 6-12 and August 10-16 More info: https://www.agliff.org

5. Support LGBTQ+ owned businesses in Austin. Nothing says support quite like voting with your dollars. Use this business directory from the Austin LBGT Chamber of Commerce to find local LGBT & allied businesses to support.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eleanor Earnhart
All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and/or contributors and not of their employer. Any questions or concerns regarding the content found here may be sent to info@austinymca.org

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