We’ve been hidden for far too long, and for many in the community, this is still a reality. Representation and visibility is so crucial, and it saves young queer lives. In 2019, we are more free than ever, but still face many dangers just for existing, for walking down the street, for holding hands, or for riding a bus. Even in the midst of all this, we have the power within this community to maintain visibility, make our voice heard, and inspire others who may not be able to. Here are some ways you can continue to increase LGBTQ+ visibility, and serve as a positive force in the community.
LGBTQ+ organizations, causes, and events are usually always looking for help to organize, plan, set up, and run their various ventures. A great place to start is looking into your local LGBTQ+ center or organization, which will usually have a volunteer section on their website. National organizations such as GLAAD and The Trevor Project also have awesome ongoing volunteer opportunities. Supporting these causes and events is a great way to make yourself known in the community, meet new people, and increase the accessibility and success of the event! Pride month/season is a great time to get into this, as there are way more events now than ever.
Support LGBTQ+ Businesses, Creators, Artists etc. 🌈
A great way to increase the visibility of awesome LGBTQ+ members doing amazing things is to support them in their professional endeavors. Whether it be buying from an online store, purchasing books from queer authors and reviewing them, watching and sharing queer content creators on YouTube, or changing your weekend hangout spot to a queer owned club, bar, or restaurant, there are so many ways to support queer business. Ultimately, we need these businesses to thrive to continue making content or performing a service; with the number of LGBTQ+ businesses already very small, with limited visibility, it’s important for us to do our part and support whenever possible. Bring your ally friends the next time you head out, talk about them on social media, review their products! Every little bit counts.
Get Educated 📚
There is always more to learn about the community, especially due to its vast and diverse nature. Taking the time to learn about issues you do not personally face, class/gender/race intersections, and news is a great way to continue the spread of accurate, relevant, and life-saving information. Knowledge is power, and something that cannot be taken from you. Your local LGBTQ+ organization may likely have workshops, talks, and other exhibits on a variety of topics. Queer content creators on YouTube are also another great, free resource for a ton of information, as are queer authors. Ultimately, networking and connecting with others in the community, and hearing other perspectives, experiences, and stories, is the best way to gather more information and be more well-rounded. Giving a voice to people different than you, and helping to publicize their voice is an awesome way to increase community visibility. This link is a great list of 50 LGBTQ books that you should definitely add to your reading: https://www.oprahmag.com/entertainment/books/g27455697/best-lgbtq-books-ever/
I hope you found these tips helpful, interesting, and informative! Keep being seen, and helping others be seen. Feel free to drop any of your favorite queer professionals, organizations, or events in the comments for others to enjoy!
Happy Pride Month! 🌈