June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month. On June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular community space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, in New York City’s Greenwich Village. While they arrested employees for selling liquor without a license and pulled bar patrons into vans, an enraged crowd threw items at them, forcing them to await backup from inside the bar. 400 people rioted that day, and the event was later called the Stonewall riots, or Stonewall uprising.
While this was not the first protest for gay rights, the event sparked the movement in the United States. Exactly a year later, hundreds of people took part in a 51-block march to commemorate the Stonewall riots, and similar events occurred in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago. Today, Pride celebrations include parades, parties, markets, workshops, symposia and concerts, with millions of participants around the world.
vKind recognizes LGBTQ+ individuals still face discrimination, despite having played a significant role in local, national, and international history. LGBTQ+ vegans also advocate for animal liberation as part of their own fight for rights. In Taiwan, many LGBTQ+ activists are vegan.
A major way to celebrate Pride month—and the LGBTQ+ community year-round—is by supporting more queer-owned businesses and others that welcome all community members. If there’s a queer community association in your area, ask if they have a list of businesses owned by LGBTQ+ individuals; some may already have these lists online. Or, look out for the rainbow flag in store windows or doors. Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the US, urged gay artist and drag queen Gilbert Baker to design a symbol of gay pride in 1978, which resulted in the rainbow flag we use to represent Pride today.
The Good Nature Empowerment Center, owned by Licensed Clinical Social Worker Angela Shankman, and Seitan Rising Vegan Cafe are just a few queer-owned businesses we’re proud to have in the vKind community, along with Veggie Mijas, a collective that highlights the importance of having a plant-based lifestyle while also intersecting race, gender identity, class, and sexuality.
vKind also has a “Vegan Owned” filter (for businesses owned by vegans), and a “Vegans of Color” filter to support businesses owned by people of color. We challenge you to find another resource for vegan professionals and organizations online that has full transparency around vegan business listings! We want to make it as easy as possible for anyone using our site and app to spend their dollars not only in the VegEconomy®, but on businesses that reflect their values.
While the outdoor events and gatherings may not be the same this year because of the pandemic, you can still celebrate Pride month in these ways:
- Attend or host virtual events (Change your Zoom background to the rainbow flag!)
- Learn about LGBTQ+ history (Did you know many animals engage in queer behavior?)
- Support pro-LGBTQ+ legislative change online
- Buy art by queer artists
- Read books by queer authors or about the LGBTQ+ experience
- Watch movies by queer filmmakers or about the LGBTQ+ experience
- Sport your rainbow colors
- Donate to queer organizations or causes