Since 1994, LGBT Pride Month is celebrated in June in the USA (and in many other parts of the world). Typically, there are events and parades all throughout the country to promote this annual festivity and the community it celebrates. This year’s ceremonies might be a bit different due to the pandemic and the current social climate, but you can still take part in the commemorations. Check out our list of suggestions below for how to join in Pride 2020, and find a few ways you can boost your LGBT activism this June, such as embracing diversity in different languages!
One of the best ways you can honor the LGBT community is to learn how to speak to and about its members properly, using appropriate vocabulary and pronouns. You can learn a lot of LGBT-related language with this dictionary, such as:
- People who feel no sexual desire. Different from celibacy, which refers to the abstention of sex, asexuals may engage in intercourse without feeling any attraction to the other person or desire for the act itself.
- A term used to refer to people who identify with the biological sex with which they were born.
- Coming out. This does not only refer to telling others about their identity or sexual orientation, but also to the lifelong process of accepting and loving one’s self.
- Gender expression. One’s gender expression is defined by the way we dress, appear, speak, and carry ourselves. So, this term is related to the way in which we express our socially constructed gender. This may or may not be correlated with one’s biological gender.
- Gender identity. Gender is a social construction, so one’s gender identity may or may not be the same as one’s biological sex. It has nothing to do with sexual preference.
Collaborate with LGBT help centers
The LGBT community, especially its younger members, often need safe havens and support (financial or psychological). Coming out can be hard for teenagers and young adults, who may feel isolated, ashamed, or even afraid of their loved one’s reactions. Luckily, many towns and cities have local centers with volunteers willing to help those who visit to feel accepted and to receive the support they need.
Sadly, these centers are often underfunded. So, one influential way you can show your support for Pride is to donate to one (or more). If you don’t have money to give, you can volunteer your time or skills and make a difference in the lives of people who need you! If you’re not sure where to start, check out this online help center locator.
Watch movies about LGBT life
In the past, movies often depicted queer characters as the funny gay friend, a tortured LGBT person, or the evil, envious anti-hero. Luckily, today many independent and mainstream studios are offering richer interpretations of the LGBT community. You can even do this while continuing to develop your foreign language skills!
Some suggestions are:
Call Me by Your Name (2017)
A coming-of-age movie that follows a romantic relationship between Elio, a 17-year-old, and Oliver, a friend of this father. The movie was made in Italy and Timothée Chalamet (a young and talented actor who plays Elio, the main character). He even has some lines in Italian, so it’s a great chance to practice your listening skills.
Nicolas, one our colleagues at Listen & Learn, strongly recommends this film:
“One of my favorite LGBT movies is Call Me By Your Name. I love it not only for the sweet relationship between the leading actors, their passion and drama, but also for the romantic scenario: the movie is set in 1980s Italy. Plus, I was able to understand many phrases in Italian, even though I’ve only studied the language for 3 months! It’s a very moving film, with a great sensitivity to exploring pleasure without necessarily establishing a sexual identity”.
Some other options to practice your Italian with LGBT movies are:
- My Big Gay Italian Wedding (2018),
- Mambo Italiano (2003),
- Morte a Venezia (1971).
Another romantic movie that follows the story of two men who decide to start their love story the weekend before one of them leaves the country. Put your British English skills to use while you fall in love with Russell and Glen’s story!
Paris is Burning (1990)
An oldie but a goodie, this is an invaluable documentary of New York’s “Golden Age,” depicting different societies throughout the city, including the Latino, gay, and transgender communities. The movie explains the origin of some slang terms used in the LGBT community, such as “shade” (snarky, snotty insults) or “to clock” (to spot something someone is trying to hide). Check out this glossary of drag terms if you want to know more.
La Mala Educación (2004)
This gripping film is about two reunited childhood friends who become lovers amidst a murder investigation. Enjoy Gael García Bernal’s interpretation while picking up some Spanish terms and expressions!
Here are some more LGBT movies for you to watch to improve your Spanish:
- Nico y Dani (2000),
- El Angel (2018),
- XXY (2007).
Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho (2010)
This is a beautiful coming-of-age romantic film from Brazil which follows a complicated story between two high school boys, Leo and Gabriel, and their struggle to find independence and love. You will not only enjoy an amazing production but also improve your Brazilian Portuguese!
Some other LGBT productions for you to watch to improve your Portuguese include:
- Al Berto (2017),
- Duas Mulheres (2009),
- Tattoo (2013).
Most of these amazing films are available on Netflix, so why not honor Pride Month with by getting comfortable on the sofa and settling down for a good binge-watching session?!
Head to YouTube
You can also commemorate Pride from YouTube! Educate and entertain yourself with LGBT channels. Ramiro, another of our colleagues, recommends the channel Contrapoints:
“My favorite LGBT YouTuber is Contrapoints, because she discusses deep and serious issues through humor. She’s also amazing at wordplay and speaks super quickly, so be sure to activate close captioning, so you don’t miss anything!”
There are countless ways to commemorate Pride Month this June, with our suggestions being just some of them. The traditional parades might not be taking place in 2020, but you can still honor the LGBT community by learning more about their reality and donating your time or money. However, you choose to honor this festival, take heart that you are helping people around the country and the world to feel more included and loved!