Cool Ways Communities Celebrate LGBTQIA+ Pride Month

From well-established events to new festivities, every year, the list of ways we can celebrate Pride Month grows.
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Asian young gay couple embracing and showing their love with rainbow flag at the street.

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Whether you are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community or an ally, Pride Month is more than a party. It’s a way to uplift, support, and celebrate LGBTQIA+ voices, culture, and liberties. Pride is expressive, inclusive, and beautiful. Across the country, many communities celebrate Pride through parades, performances, activism, and rainbow flags of support.

Not sure how to celebrate this year? Here are 10 ideas that you can bring into your neighborhood or community—no matter how big or small it may be.

1. Volunteer or attend a local parade.

Happy Multiracial people celebrating gay pride event - Group of friends with different age and race having fun during LGBT social event

A parade is usually one of the headlines of Pride Month and often kicks off the celebrations with LGBTQIA+ groups marching, dancing, cheering, and celebrating. It’s a memorable spectacle that can be just as much fun for the parade watchers. Of course, helping hands make the event happen in communities across the country. If you can volunteer, your local parade would likely appreciate the assistance.

Want to see what this kind of moving party looks like on a grand scale? LA Pride is a huge event, and they’re looking for volunteers—it may be worth a road trip.

RELATED: How to Organize an Epic Block Party That Will Have Everyone Dancing in the Street

2. Show your pride with more than a flag.

Gay Pride Gnomes On Display on Dresser

Since Pride is an entire month, festive home decor displays can stay up for a few weeks. Spend time decorating your home and yard, and make your private feelings about the community into a public statement of support. For example, the Chicago Pride Home sets a high bar for festive decor.

From entry decor like this DII natural coir door mat that welcome visitors into your home to Pride gnome decorations at Amazon, either buy or make themed decorations to make your outdoor space more festive.

RELATED: 12 LGBTQIA+ Design Pros Who Helped Shape How We Live

3. Check out the Empire State Building.

A partial skyline of Midtown Manhattan with the Empire State Building displaying Pride colors taken from Brooklyn just before at sunset.

The Empire State Building is an iconic fixture of the New York skyline. Its lights change frequently to commemorate important occasions—including Pride. There is even an online calendar that indicates which colors will show on which days so that you know when you can catch a photo of the world’s most famous building in all its rainbow glory. And, if you can’t travel to see the lights in person, check out the Empire State Building’s live camera feed.

With all of the different LED lights out there, you can make your own version of this aesthetic by adding some rainbow colored flood lights like this four-pack of smart floodlights from Novostella at Amazon to your property.

4. Visit or create a rainbow crosswalk.

Boston Ma USA , July 16 2014 , rainbow crosswalk near Boston city hall in support of Gay pride week for the gay and Lesbian community

Rainbow crosswalks are popping up in cities and towns all over. Some crosswalks are painted just for Pride and repainted come July, however, several places are choosing to keep these colorful crosswalks year-round. As a symbol of diversity, equality, and love, rainbow crosswalks are now finding permanent homes at intersections across the country.

Smaller town centers may not have a rainbow crosswalk in place. If that’s the case, make your own in the driveway using chalk like this 120-pack nontoxic set from Joyin at Amazon.

RELATED: 12 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Moving to a Small Town

5. Fundraise, support, or donate to an LGBTQIA+ cause.

Orlando, Florida, USA, October 15, 2022. Group of members of the LGBTIQIA+ community And Allied Employees of Harmony Healthcare Orlando, with colorful Pride Sign in the Come Out With Pride Orlando parade 2022, on the E Central Blvd street.

Organizations cannot work without the help of volunteers and donors. If you have the energy and time, consider joining, starting, or supporting a pride organization to help a cause.

You can gather donations for an auction and donate proceeds to your favorite LGBTQIA+ charity. You can also donate directly or develop a fundraising effort, such as the Orlando Community Rainbow Run, which raises funds for the onePULSE Foundation, a nonprofit organization created in the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub tragedy in 2016, and the National Pulse Memorial & Museum.

6. Put your LGBTQIA+ knowledge to the test.

New York City, New York, USA - August 24, 2019: Historic Stonewall Inn gay bar in Greenwich Village Lower Manhattan

Pride is a party, but do you know why there’s cause for celebration? On June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Uprising started, a catalyst of the Gay Liberation Movement. Bar patrons at the Stonewall Inn stood up against the police, who were raiding the place.

Many resources are available to learn about Pride, from museums, documentaries, photographs, articles, and more. Read up on the history, then go to a Pride trivia night. Take inspiration from the Smithsonian’s Happy Hour Pride Trivia Night and arrange a similar experience at your go-to event space in your community.

RELATED: 12 LGBTQIA+ Design Pros Who Helped Shape How We Live

7. Attend a show.

Rainbow flag waved in front of a concert on Gay Pride Day

Throughout Pride, performers are out in full force. Several large cities host music events with multiple performers sharing the stage, like the Pride in Local Music® Festival in Austin, Texas, and you can find plays or musicals that celebrate Pride at many community theaters. Search events in your city to celebrate at live performances.

Of course, Pride wouldn’t be complete without drag queens and kings, some of the hardest-working entertainers out there. From hosting drag shows on Saturday nights, drag brunch on Sunday mornings, drag bingo during the week, drag story hour, and more, these artists work around the clock, so now is the perfect time to show your financial and fan support.

8. Read queer stories.

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

There are countless books, poems, and articles written by queer authors. Be it fiction or nonfiction, there are plenty of stories to devour—not just during Pride Month but year-round. During Pride, however, some bookstores and libraries, such as the Wolfgram Memorial Library at Widener University, put up a display to make it easy to find LGBTQIA+ literature.

Find a new book to read or start your LGBTQIA+ book club. Need a recommendation to get started? Check out Glennon Doyle’s Untamed.

9. Attend or host Pride movie night.

Friends watching movie on the video projector in the backyard garden

LGBTQIA+ films are making room for themselves in the mainstream, bringing fresh perspectives and stories that need to be heard. Sonoma County Pride hosts an outdoor movie night during Pride, which can be replicated in your community.

Create a similar feel on a smaller scale in your neighborhood by setting up a movie night in your backyard with an outdoor projector like this DBPower 1080P WiFi video projector at Amazon and playing an LGBTQIA+ movie, comedy special, or musical performance. Invite friends, neighbors, and other community members for a fun Pride celebration.

RELATED: How to Host the Ultimate Backyard Movie Night

10. Have your pet’s photo taken.

People pet a dog wearing a plush rainbow on its back at the Montreal Pride Parade 2019.

There are numerous ways to celebrate Pride as a human, but your four-legged friend can also get in on the festivities. Dogtopia of Easton, Pennsylvania, is setting up a Pride-themed photoshoot this year with a rainbow backdrop, flags, and other props so that you can get a picture of your dog celebrating.

A festive fundraising idea for photographers who want to use their skills within their community, a pet-focused event is a fun way to bring pets and their parents together. Pick up props, host a pet photo shoot for Pride in your own hometown, and donate the proceeds to a worthy LGBTQIA+ organization.