Pride Inside – 5 Ways To Celebrate Pride From Home
Happy Pride Month…quarantine apocalypse edition? #PrideInside! Unstoppable Pride! Whatever you call it, I’m here for it.
I don’t know. There’s so much going on! I’ve been debating writing about this & pushing it off since May because of it. Between civil unrest and being in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic I can’t say #Pride has been in the forefront of my mind. (But – let me say that protesting is on brand for Pride! I don’t mind not having a parade if we’re busy working on more pressing matters like racial inequality.) Either way, I’m writing it now so – better late than never – right?
Because I was thinking about this post for upwards of a month, it ended up being long as shit & includes a shopping guide that probably should have been its own post. Ooops!
If you’re looking to celebrate for the rest of June – or hell, the rest of forever – what does Pride look like when we can’t leave our houses & get together with our peers? For me, it’s not much different than any other year. Between sensory & health issues and the fact that I’m not “out out” – I’ve only done the whole Pride festivities thing a few times. Usually, June is just spent making jokes with friends (“can’t wait for gay wrath month!”) and seeing who can pull up the worst rainbow-capitalism ad every year. (This year, my pick is Colgate. You know, in case you were interested.) I’m no stranger to celebrating in the privacy of my own space. So, if you’re new to having to celebrate at home – luckily I have some practice!
Here’s 5 ways I’m planning to celebrate Pride this year – maybe you should give them a shot too.
If you hate fun & want to skip ahead to the sex toy section of this piece – click here!
Note: This post uses affiliate links – meaning I earn a commission on items purchased through links provided on my website with no added cost to you. I am not paid for mentioning them and as always, my opinions are my own.
1. Get back to Pride’s roots!
Most of us know the reason we can have Pride today is owed to the Stonewall riots of 1969. Most frequently I see Marsha P. Johnson’s name mentioned alongside Stonewall – but have you read up on Stormé DeLarverie? Miss Major Griffin-Gracy? Sylvia Rivera? Black & brown sexworkers, transwomen, drag queens and queer women have always been at the core of the Pride movement. As much as our overwhelmingly white recollection of history tries to paint it differently, Pride is absolutely intersectional at its root. The Stonewall riots made way for LGBTQ+ rights as we know them today, damnit. Read up on black LGBTQ activists past and present, and get your learn on! Knowledge is power! You can even take a virtual tour of Stonewall from the comfort of your couch.
If you can, you can even involved with current #BlackLivesMatter protests. Violence towards to LGBTQ+ community & mistreatment by law enforcement is nothing new to so many of us. But it severely impacts our BIPOC family – especially if they’re queer. We can’t have our parades this year, but we can certainly assemble and stand up for human rights & equality as a whole.
If you’re staying #SaferAtHome, look into BIPOC run LGBT organizations & those supporting the LGBTQ community. There’s tons of collectives & bail funds you can donate to, signal boost, or otherwise help out. There’s another list of organizations that could use your support, here to get you started. (Retweeting & sharing links can also go a long way if you’re broke!) In your own neighborhood or online, you can also lend a hand to individual people. Whether it’s in the form of signing petitions, peer-to-peer funding, (Help someone out with their transition fund, or hell – even their rent!) making a supply run for a street medic, or just amplifying others’ voices and actively listening to others.
If you’re just looking for some “general” LGBTQ+ spots to donate, check this list as well.
2. Enjoy as much LGBT media as you can handle!
In whatever form you prefer! Some folks love to read memoirs and watch documentaries, but in my house Pride month usually means blasting George Michael & watching Hedwig and The Angry Inch repeatedly. (I lean towards “silly” stuff on purpose – especially in such tumultuous times. I know Hedwig isn’t exactly lighthearted – but still more so than the news. I can’t take another dead lesbian story, y’all.) Whether it’s something new to learn & consume – or just comfy, familiar campy media, it’s never a bad time to indulge in LGBTQ+ centered & created content. From books, to movies, music, podcasts – and anything else we can get our hands on. (Did you know HRC put together a #PrideInside coloring book this year?) Pride.com put out a great list of black LGBTQ+ media to watch, as well!
Last I knew there’s a new season of both Queer Eye & Pose out this month – if you need something to binge! (And hey, isn’t She-Ra confirmed LGBTQ+ rep now?) As far as my favorites in the banner go, you can read Stone Butch Blues for free – To Wong Foo is still on Netflix the last I knew, and I routinely put on Spotify’s “Pride Classics” mix during streams in June. Happy Birthday Marsha is a short about Marsha P. Johnson, available on Amazon Prime. & It’s not explicitly Pride themed – but I love Hannah Gadsby’s Netflix specials. (And a lot of her humor revolves around being LGBTQ+ as well. Fair warning that “Nanette” does speak about sexual assault and violence she’s experienced.) My best friends campy favorite, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – is also streaming for free on Vudu.
NOTE: Though its creator has since outed themselves as being hella problematic – (read: transphobic) Rocky Horror was (is) super important to me as a teenager (and adult) figuring out who the fuck they were. In addition to that, the RHPS show & shadowcast community was my first step into knowing Other Openly LGBTQ+ Folks™ existed outside of LiveJournal or my highschools GSA. Long before I could convince my parents or friends to drive me to Pride parades an hour from home, it gave me an outlet and a sense of community. It’s a Pride month fave for me, for that alone. (And that’s why it’s included alongside Hedwig in the cover image of this post.)
3. Stay Connected
Everyone I know is worn beyond thin right now, and a little bit of kindness & connection goes a long way. My best friend and I have started staying on the phone for 3-6 hours a day since quarantine started. Sure, it’s mostly because we haven’t seen each other in months and both lack social lives even outside of a pandemic situation – but being able to talk to someone & be comfortable and be heard by someone else that “gets it” is a blessing right now.
(Even if what they’re “getting” is a 20 minute rant about a lesbian flag dildo. Sorry, Anj – love you & not having to explain myself!) I know “chosen family” is a huge thing for people – use your downtime to reach out to yours! (Even if you’re just doing something small like dropping a Pride heart sticker on their Facebook status.)
Past your usual social circle – if you’re feeling isolated one of my favorite things is digging through Instagram or Twitter for LGBTQ+ pages, and looking for new blogs. (My personal weakness is meme pages – for the record, HotMessbian is my favorite.) Whether I’m just leaving a passive “like” on a post, or interacting in the comments& replies with like-minded people. Hell, there’s even lists of LGBTQ+ Twitch streamers you can watch and interact with!
Reminder – online friends are real friends! Social media in general is a huge part of my life (especially being disabled) and it’s a great outlet for socializing whether you’re just stuck at home, or maybe you’re not super-out and comfy in your IRL life. (Or, you don’t have a lot of LGBTQ+ friends locally – or at least “out” ones. It happens! I’m from a rural area, trust.)
Missing getting together for Pride? Tons of places are hosting virtual Pride events! GLAAD & New York City Pride are hosting Black Queer Town Hall from June 19th through the 21st – full of drag performances & plenty of discussion. Club Quarantine hosts frequent virtual dance parties! My home state’s Pride event is going to be hosted on Animal Crossing! It’s worth a look to see if your “usual” Pride hosts are doing something online this year. You can even find a whole list of virtual Pride events here! (It’s also worth peeking at the #PrideInside tag & other Pride related pages on Twitter & Instagram!)
4. Show your stripes
I probably could have worded that a bit better – but most Pride flags have stripes, right? (Well, off the top of my head the Intersex flag doesn’t.) Symbols! Colors! Flag things! If you’re not getting dressed up to attend Pride in person – no one’s stopping you from doing it at home!
I usually do a set of Pride flag themed clown looks in June – whether I can make it to Pride or not & it always makes me feel good. (When I go to Pride events, my options are “Hedwig outfit obscuring my identity” or “Pride Clown” – which is a lot better for hot weather.) I’ve even seen some 2020 Pride makeup competitions online this year! Of course, “showing your stripes” isn’t limited to those of us that like smearing colorful dirt on our faces! It can be something as simple as putting a Pride pin on your purse or jacket. If you don’t typically get to express yourself openly at work or school, if you’re comfortable displaying Pride imagery at home – quarentine is a great opportunity to do so. Whether that means wearing accessories with your flag on them, or being able to present yourself in a gender-affirming way safely.
Isolation doesn’t mean we have to hide either – hop online and post those selfies! If you can’t or don’t wait to on your main accounts – there’s tons of awesome LGBTQ+ groups on Facebook. & Tons of them that encourage selfie threads! (Most are private or closed so your friends list won’t see that you’re a member!) There’s even Pride Facebook frames & Instagram filters, if that’s your deal! I changed my Twitter icon to have a rainbow background, it’s the little things – right?
5. Okay, maybe indulge in a little rainbow capitalism.
I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for it. Pretty consistently, my top spending seasons are Pride & Halloween. Truly, the easiest way to get me to throw down $20 is by making something rainbow. This of course doesn’t have to be corporate and it doesn’t have to be coated in rainbows. (And honestly, I’d rather we be able to move away from big business anyways – support LGBTQ+ creatives directly!) But giving business to spots that are inclusive & run by (or at the very least supportive of) LGBTQ+ folks is never a bad idea.
For small-business Pride accessories, I love QueerFame, Butch & Sissy, Pride Asylum, and Rad Badges UK on Etsy. Bye Gender is black & trans owned – and their proceeds go to helping trans folks survive, from funding for housing to hormones & other medication. If you’re looking for gender-affirming lines (and LGBTQ+ run) shops – gc2b has an entire Pride collection this year. (The trans flag binders are so sweet!) Hidden Candy Boutique has also been posting rainbow & transgender Pride flag gaffs on their Instagram!
Need more ideas? Check out this Bustle list of black, queer owned brands & designers.
Of course – this is a sex blog, so if you’re looking for toys I’ve got you covered.
All of the stores I link on my site are LGBTQ+ friendly (it’s a requirement!) but Wet For Her gets an extra nod this June for being lesbian run & founded, and catering to WLW specifically. (I’ll have a review from them up soon too, get hype!) Despite having “Her” in the name – they also have a transmasc section for packers, FTM specific dildos, and binders. (Yes, they do their best to be inclusive of folks that aren’t women.)
Also of note is the Inclusion Harness in the graphic at the top of this section – they’re handmade by a Canadian trans activist. The proceeds from their harnesses go towards helping create LGBTQ+ friendly environments in schools across rural Ontario. Do some good and look good doing it! (Inclusion Harness has two different sizes of both their traditional harness, and a thigh harness! If anyone wants to send me a present…)
My 5 Picks for Pride-Themed Toys
1. Wet For Her
Okay, Wet For Her isn’t technically Pride-themed or colored, but whatever. In addition to being lesbian founded & run – Wet For Her also sells their own line of toys marketed towards WLW & AFAB couples. Pictured are the “Two” – a silicone finger extender, the “RockHer” – a wearable vibrator for tribbing, & the Fusion – a strap on dildo shaped for wearer-stimulation. This of course doesn’t cover their entire line – but on top of the toys they make themselves, the entire store is non-phallic and body-safe. Y’know, my two favorite things. They’re also running a Pride-month giveaway, for a bunch of rainbow novelties & a giftcard.
2. Split Peaches & Funkit Toys: Non-phallic Rainbows!
Split Peaches is most known for their unicorn horns – but both their Rivetor dildo & Screw You come in rainbow! Both come in three sizes – from small to “holy shit”! Their silicone is glossy and gorgeous, and downright whimsical. You all know I’m a sucker for non-phallic! (Not looking for rainbows? You can check out their entire line here!)
Looking for an openly queer-run indie option? You might remember my Funkit NoFrillDo review from a few months ago – but they offer a whole lot more. (Pictured is a rainbow Swell.) Well – I say they, but Funkit is actually a one-person operation. Kenton just seems to have the power of an entire warehouse of fucksmiths. As far as Pride specific items go, Funkit has an entire rainbow section – even including some bisexual flag choices. Not quite the flag you want? Well, check out the custom options instead! (And again – non-phallic. We love to see it.)
3. Avant Pride!
You might know how much I love Avant’s silicone (and specifically the P1 Freedom from the Pride line!) so this one isn’t a surprise. The Avant Pride line mixes art & pride flags with silky smooth silicone – & even includes a few more niche flags alongside staples like the classic rainbow & Transgender Pride flags. (Genderfluid! Genderqueer! Asexual!) I sat in on a Blush Zoom call about inclusivity this week, and it was awesome – they truly give a shit. Fully endorse the work they do, and hope they add more flags to the Avant line!
(And maybe…another lesbian flag one? I love the size of the one they offer in theory but I can’t not gripe about phallic shapes. Please!)
Canadian readers: You can snag a handful of the Avant Pride designs from Naughty North, as well!
4. Pride Toys For Penis Owners!
You thought I was gunna leave y’all out, didn’t you? Tenga offers two different Pride-themed strokers this year, the Shiny Pride Edition Egg & the Pride Edition Original Cup. (The cup is currently out of stock on SheVibe – but I have high hopes!) Of course, I lack the plumbing to review these – but every person I’ve ever gifted a Tenga product has loved them!
Trans dudes looking for dick stuff, sorry that you’re a bit left out – I don’t have any Pride specific transmasc recommendations (outside of gender neutral items like buttplugs & dildos already mentioned) BUT I do know that New York Toy Collective makes this awesome stroker. (Well, I haven’t tried it – I’ve just heard awesome things.) It’s not as affordable as the Buck Angel Strokers – but they’re silicone, and realistic! (The Buck Angel line is TPR/TPE.)
Canadian readers: You can snag the Pride Edition Egg from Naughty North!
5. Classic Stripes & Realistic Toys!
I’ve got your classic rainbows covered – in the form of silicone! NS Novelties Colours Pride Edition line has rainbow-striped buttplugs & realistic dildos (with balls!) in three different sizes. (They also sell a non-phallic wave dildo!) Want more? Check out PrideDildo’s Thick Rick or their slightly slimmer, no-testicles-included Pride dildo. (Both are 8″, silicone, and pictured above!)
I don’t think there’s a whole lot more ground I could cover here – so I hope it was fun for you! I know the sense of normalcy this year is completely skewed, and even more so with Pride events. But hey, I guess we’ll figure out how to stay busy anyways! If anything, it gives us an excuse to celebrate Pride whenever the hell we want. I hope wherever you’re at & whatever you’re up to you have a great June.
As always, here’s where I beg for your feedback! What are your favorite “Pride classics”? Have any fun socially-distanced Pride plans this month? Are you as much of a sucker for Rainbow Capitalism™ as I am? Anything else? I’d love to hear it in the comments!