What is pride month?
For decades June has been recognized as “Pride Month” in the United States. This month is dedicated to the recognition and celebration of members of the LGBTQ community, and to uplift these voices. It is often characterized by parades, festivals, and rainbow flags. But why did Pride actually start and how did it grow to the large scale we recognize today? It all began with the Stonewall riots on June 28, 1969 that took place in New York City after police invaded a gay club. An important and often overlooked fact to remember is that the person who started it all was a transgender activist named Marsha P. Johnson, who was responsible for throwing the first brick or shot glass. Alongside her was another transgender woman named Sylvia Rivera, an activist and self-professed drag queen. Together they created S.T.A.R, the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, which was aimed towards helping LGBTQ youth. These women are largely responsible for an increase in LGBTQ activism, yet transgender men and women, along with others in the community still face serious issues.
So, what can we do?
Yes, there may be a lot of work to be done but there are many small things that everyone can do this month and beyond to show support and create change. Here are some examples of ways that you can celebrate pride as an ally:
- Familiarize yourself with terms and slang used in the community
- Shop at stores that give back to nonprofit organizations and actually value LGBTQ lives
- Visit local sites and educate yourself on history (reading this article already has you covered for the day!)
- Uplift LGBTQ voices
- Make your support known publicly
All of the actions listed above are great ways to be active in the community. Pride Month, however, is not the only time that you can do these things. Continue these habits throughout the rest of the year to truly make a difference.
LGBTQ presence in the beauty industry and skincare
For years, the beauty industry has not been the most accepting place when it comes to the LGBTQ community. Despite its members largely contributing to the latest beauty trends and ideas, they are still largely underrepresented. Over the years the industry has managed to become more inclusive, but there is much more work to be done. If diversity is even present at all in a brand's image, it is likely used as a tool to bring in more profit during this month and this month only. Instead of throwing some rainbow themed products into a launch, something much more impactful is allowing members of the community to be seen and to feel represented all year long. In skin care specifically, most large mainstream companies target their products toward cis gendered white women, which sends a toxic message. Skin care should be for everyone, and this underrepresentation only continues to fuel a culture of exclusion.
At ILERA Apothecary we want our supporters to know that our products are made for everyone, and we are devoted to promoting inclusivity for all races, gender, and sexualities. We also want to encourage readers to continue being active in their support of the LGBTQ community, even after Pride Month comes to a close. Let’s keep creating change so that each June we can reflect on progress from the year prior.