LGBT people are dedicated to our divas. We’re dedicated to our politicians. We’re dedicated to who we are, but it’s LGBT dedication to our LGBT community that matters most.
There’s DL for Down Low. DIY for Do It Yourself. There’s DSL for Digital Subscriber Line and DS for Direct Support. Then, there’s the D for Dedication in PRIDE. As we continue our P-R-I-D-E theme this month of Pride, we turn to the letter D for Dedication.
Dedication makes us think about the current tone of the country. Since the election, maybe even be-fore, the queer community feels stressed and anxious. While we have much to be concerned about regardless of who the president is, it’s our dedication in both good and bad times that has kept us resilient and helped our community progress.
Here are three ways to stay dedicated to our cause in both adverse and auspicious times.
Don’t get distracted by the wagging dogs
Trying to interpret “covfefe” and being surprised, though not really, that queer people won’t be included in the 2020 U.S. Census, these and other disco balls don’t serve our community. They don’t help our community or any other community for that matter.
There are real problems in this country, indeed the world, for the queer community. They deserve the dedication of those of us who stand on the shoulders of giants. From Stonewall to Russia from Orlan-do to the Middle East, we owe it to those who came before us and those who will follow to stay dedicated to the cause and not be distracted by click-bait.
Dedicate to spending your money queerly
We seem to be in never-ending election mode. Even before President Trump’s Inauguration wrapped up, there were whispers of “will she, again, or not” and “will he ever?” We have a way to go, one hopes before we suffer through another round of countless and confusing debates. And, while it’s true that our votes in local and state elections affect our everyday lives more than national elections, we can vote every single day of the year by dedicating our pink dollars to LGBT-owned and LGBT-friendly businesses.
When possible, spend your money with LGBT-owned businesses. Many cities around the country have queer or pink directories that list numerous products and services by LGBT entrepreneurs. Many LGBT-owned businesses are certified by the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce to stand out from the bigger companies and get our attention. Let’s give it to them.
If there isn’t an LGBT-owned business that meets your need, maybe this is a sign for you to go into business yourself. We advocate strongly for more LGBT entrepreneurs. The more influence we have in private business and the more value we add to our local communities, the more influence we have to advance the rights of queer people and other marginalized groups. If becoming an entrepreneur seems daunting, there are resources like LGBTQ Entrepreneur to help.
When spending with LGBT-owned companies isn’t possible, spend your money with businesses dedicated to supporting the queer community when possible. Finding an LGBT-owned shoe company may be hard. Therefore, consider getting your running and everyday shoes from Nike and Converse (Nike owns Converse). Both companies released a 2017 Pride Series dressed with rainbows on their running shoes and the eponymous Chuck Taylors.
All the proceeds from the Converse Pride Collection will go to support LGBT organizations, and that’s the value of supporting those who support us.
Dedicate to giving back to your queer community
While we’re on the topic of giving, who should be more dedicated to giving to the queer community than queer people? One of the reasons we promote fiscal responsibility within the queer community is because our community still needs to fight for our rights. We haven’t yet achieved full equality and, for better or worse, that struggle requires time and money.
If we’re buried in debt, suffer from financial insecurity or spend our money unconsciously, we don’t have the time or the money to donate to the causes and initiatives dedicated to helping us. It’s great that we can rely on our allies for support, and there have been many great allies, but we must certainly do our part.
So, long after the festivals are over, the floats are broken down and Pride Month ends, stay dedicated to your pride. Know that every day is a chance to make a difference and that sometimes quiet gestures are more effective than big parades.
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