Pride 2020

How to Support The LGBTQ Community in Atlanta During Pride

“One thing to remember is that Pride started from a riot and a protest.”

Atlanta Pride Parade
Atlanta Pride Parade | Mandias/Flickr
Atlanta Pride Parade | Mandias/Flickr

June is Pride month around the country and, even though Atlanta really celebrates Pride in the fall (closer to National Coming Out Day), June is still an important month for the city’s LGBTQ+ community. Unfortunately, it’s 2020, and by this point, we all know that means that nothing is normal right now. Public health concerns for COVID-19 have largely prevented several in-person Pride month events and activities, but they have also negatively affected the lives of many people in the city’s LGBTQ+ community as well.
 
“Across the nation, it is Pride month -- Atlanta just doesn’t celebrate it as much during this time, but I think a lot of people in Atlanta are going to utilize this time differently,” says Iv Fischer, a writer, performer, and the culture editor at Wussy Mag. While discussing Pride, she alludes to the protests against police brutality currently happening around the world. “One thing to remember is that Pride, and many of the rights that we have today, started from a riot and a protest. It was a revolt and an uprising -- spearheaded by Black queer and trans people fought for -- against unjust systems, and that is how it should be remembered and honored this year.”
 
As we’ve witnessed over the past few months, Atlantans continue to power through these difficult and uncertain times with passion and ingenuity, and Pride month -- along with the civil unrest -- is no exception. With large in-person gatherings still not the safest idea, one of the best way to celebrate Pride month is find new ways to support Atlanta’s queer community. So here are some great ways to support local LGBTQ+ businesses, organizations, and entrepreneurs.

Contribute to nonprofits and service organizations

Lost N Found Youth is a nonprofit organization that’s dedicated to combat homelessness for LGBTQ+ and all sexual minority youth, and its efforts are considerably funded through its thrift store. In the interest of the public’s health, Lost N Found Youth decided to temporarily close the shop, but you can still help keep their mission going by donating to the organization.

In addition, there are several other community organizations -- from Georgia Equality and HRC Atlanta to Southern Fried Queer Pride and Southerners on New Ground -- that continue to uplift the queer community, so do some research and figure out how you can best contribute to them.

Keep ordering food and drinks to-go

With bars and clubs being temporarily closed over the past few months and restaurants being reduced to takeout-only models, queer service industry workers have felt the brunt of the pandemic. Simply ordering a meal or a couple of drinks can help keep the city’s beloved LGBTQ+ bars and restaurants above water, which means more of your favorite service industry workers won't be out of a job. There are many LGBTQ+ bars and restaurants that are offering takeout services, such as 10th & Piedmont, Joes on Juniper, and Las Margaritas, and at some -- like Woofs -- you can grab a drink to-go as well.

Have an online shopping spree at a virtual pop-up

Coinciding with Pride month, Wussy Mag is hosting a virtual pop-up shop all month-long. The result is Queerency, a collaborative effort alongside Streetcat.media and designer Christopher Knowles. The online experience is a much-needed platform to financially support Atlanta’s artists, content creators, makers, and community organizers. By shopping through Queerency, Atlantans can directly support their local LGBTQ+ community and help prevent large corporations from profiting off PRIDE-related goods through feigned queer support.

Participating creatives include Chiomma Hall, Walker Davis Designs, Kat Gomez, Eric Randall Morris, Happy Cup Studio, Patrick Di Rito, and more. Products range from prints and custom clothing to DIY kits and photobooks, so be sure to see all that the pop-up has to offer.

Tune into a virtual drag show

Bar and club closings have affected more than just the service industry workers -- they’ve taken away the stage for many local performers. Alas, Atlanta’s drag scene has done their best with their resources and moved online. The self-employed performance artists and content creators have now banded together to throw virtual drag shows throughout the pandemic.

The once Atlanta-based drag queen Biqtch Puddin’ has been hosting her weekly #DigitalDragShow, and many other local drag performers -- from Iv Fischer to Taylor Alxndr -- have been using their platforms to keep the Atlanta drag scene going. Tune in to one, have a good time, and don’t forget to tip the performers.

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Joshua Robinson is an Atlanta-based contributor for Thrillist.