Summertime, and the Protestin’ Is Easy
Words by Trey Burnette
June is Pride month. Here are 10 fun, effective ways to incorporate activism into your summer activities.
1) Vacation Vacancy
Don’t just cancel your vacation reservations in places (Florida, Texas, Tennessee, etc.) that are passing discriminatory laws. Send the businesses, tourist board, and local city government an email or handwritten letter explaining why you will be unable to visit and spend your money with them this summer.
2) Postcard Picnic
Grab a picnic basket and some postcards with messages for political leaders, and head to the park with some friends. While lunching outdoors, stamp and address the postcards. Use Pride month to remind lawmakers what issues you care about and how legislation affects your life.
3) Banned Beach Reads
Book banning is nothing new in America, but unfortunately, extremists have recently stepped up their efforts. The best way to counter these actions is to head down to your favorite bookseller — like The Best Bookstore in Palm Springs, to support small local business owners — and buy banned books (and/or tomes by marginalized authors) for your summertime reads.
4) Pride Parade Protest
Many in the LQBTQ+ community wonder if we still needed Pride festivals and parades. The last several years have shown us we do. Plan a trip to experience Pride in a new city. Show the world our community is vibrant and proud, while connecting with new people and seeing how different cities celebrate their Pride.
5) Tea-Time Testimonies
Find your voice with those you love. Invite friends over for some iced tea and share your stories. Let them know what you are going through, how you’re feeling, and give them space to share their own stories. The current social and political climate is overwhelming, and finding friends with whom to weather the storm is healthy for everyone. People need to be reminded they’re not alone and that solutions for a better tomorrow can be realized together.
6) Planned Parenthood Pool Plunge
Remember, it’s not just LGBTQ+ people under attack in the current political atmosphere. Women and other marginalized people (some of whom are LGBTQ+) are also fighting to keep their civil rights. Find the organizations that support those groups — like Planned Parenthood or the NAACP — and host a pool party fundraiser for them. Show them they’re not alone and the LGBTQ+ community has their backs. No pool? Get out the Slip-N-Slide!
7) Lemonade Letters
Unfortunately, many people aren’t always aware of what’s happening outside of their daily lives. If you have friends or family who live in a state where extreme and discriminatory laws are being considered — or passed! — take a minute to turn a sour situation into something sweet. Pour yourself a glass of lemonade, and craft a handwritten letter informing loved ones how these laws affect you and your community. A personal story brings advocacy home.
8) Mitzvah Margaritas
Going out for drinks, search for venues that provide stage time for queer and ally performers. The LGBTQ+ community has a long history of political activism throughout the arts. It’s essential to support not only those artists, but the venues that support them.
9) Camp Colorful
The LGBTQ+ community pitches a big tent, and it’s important to remember the community’s diversity. Summer is a time for many art, music, film, and community festivals, and many of these have political undertones. Find some events off your beaten path. There may be an LGBTQ+ person who has an intersection with another marginalized group, and who can use your support at one of those affairs — or maybe you just have fun while proudly supporting another community.
10) Summertime Self-care
You have to advocate for yourself before you can advocate for anyone else. Start by checking if you are in tip-top shape. Look into DAP Health’s many services, like yearly medical exams, STI screenings, and behavioral health services. Or discover the benefits of their wellness programs and social services.