“Love him and let him love you. Do you think anything else under heaven really matters?” – James Baldwin
Far before the Queer Eye five, Elliot Page, and James Baldwin, pride was a rainbow ribbon fluttering the streets in communities near and far.
However, depending on exactly where and what period of history you reference, tolerance and acceptance shone through the dark clouds of society in very different ways.
For decades, greater society’s perceptions of the gay community resulted in LGBTQ+ folk playing a game of rainbow roulette of sorts.
It was widely known that not every neighborhood would welcome queer people with open arms. This led to the development of LGBTQ+ friendly pockets across the US, where empowerment and inclusion were allowed to thrive.
However, just because some cities made the tiniest bit of room for its queer residents, does not mean that the world was an ideal place for anyone who identified as anything other than heterosexual and cis-gendered.
And let’s be real, it would be foolish to say that this is not still the case today…
What’s going on today?
Yes, society has made plenty of progress.
Activists are loud, legislation has evolved and more queer people than ever before are embracing their gender and sexuality.
This has allowed the once rare, queer-friendly pockets of society to blossom into pivitol and powerful communites of LGBTQ+ folk and their allies alike.
The acceptance and inclusion that are apparent today are the product of hard work, sacrifice and true resilience of so many key players, both celebrated and anonymous.
And let this be a reminder that just because there has been progress, does mean the work is done…
Change is provoked in multiple ways — through legislation, assembly, education, conversation and individual action, amongst other methods.
While the actions you take as a single person may not appear to amount to much, they are important.
Whether you are part of the LGBTQ+ community or an ally, know that your voice and actions have power. Not sure how to plant, grow and nurture fresh seeds of change? Here are 5 tips to help you nudge society in a positive and pride-powered direction.
1. Don’t undermine the power of conversation.
Hamza Yusuf, author, scholar and advocate of change, once said, “Don’t ever diminish the power of words. Words move hearts and hearts move limbs.”
Conversations around the struggles, sacrifices and successes of LGBTQ+ people are critical to the fight for basic human rights for all. And you best believe that this battle is not to be fought by them alone.
This is why it is so important for voices of all genders, sexualities and perspectives to advocate for change, even if this effort is as simple as conversation.
So chat it out over coffee.
Go to a Pride event and listen to your queer peers.
Encourage positive interactions on social media…
…and then do it all over again.
Productive societal change doesn’t stop for anyone and demands ongoing conversation.
2. Be inspired, and inspire.
In order to provoke any level of change, it is important for you to invest in the people, places and stories that inspire you.
Inspiration can look like many things… maybe you channel inspiration to challenge your own perspectives or to learn more about a topic that you are unfamiliar with. Or maybe you seek inspiration to share your own story or to listen more intently to the stories of others.
Know that when you fuel your words, actions and aspirations with inspiration, you will naturally inspire others to do the same.
It is this kind of positive, mutual growth that sets the stage for real change.
3. Vote. Vote. Vote.
When it comes to legislative change, voting is the very best tool.
You may think “I am just one person. One vote won’t make a difference.”
This is simply not true.
If 100,000 people who do not exercise their right to vote suddenly decided to take their voice to the polls, there would be 100,000 more ballots on the table.
With that said, know that legislative change is just one part of the process. When it comes to LGBTQ+ rights, the law is often the last thing to change. Lawmakers are empowered to push for change when they see their constituents fighting for revolution.
So create change in your circle and encourage others to do the same. When enough of the grid is advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, speaking out against hate crimes, hiring queer folk and waving a rainbow flag, politicians will have the amo and support to make waves.
4. Encourage exploration.
While Pride is powerful, coming out is hard.
Sharing that your perceived gender or sexuality is not representative of you can be very stress and anxiety provoking. However, those that have done so can be a source of support and comfort for their closeted peers.
And for those that are just beginning to explore their sexuality and gender, lead with a norm-bending compass. Remember that cis-gendered, heterosexuality isn’t the only way to go.
So venture in the direction that is calling your name… and your genitals.
On your journey of sexual exploration, it is important to learn what makes you feel good and what does not. Lucky for you, there are toys for that.
Here are some of our favorites for vulva owners:
Butterfly Clitoral Stimulator by Better Love
Spread your wings and fly into pure bliss with the Butterfly Clitoral Stimulator by Better Love. Featuring 10 suction vibrations for intense clitoral orgasms and easy push control, you will melt into heaven with this toy… every single time.
Nova 2 G-Spot Vibrator by We-Vibe
Experience non-stop pleasure, even during your wildest moves. The new and improved Nova 2 Rabbit Vibrator by We-Vibe flexes with you, keeping constant contact with your clitoris while stimulating your G-spot. Get ready to get turned on and connected with the free We-Connect App which allows you and your lover to create custom vibes whenever and wherever you are.
Duo Stimulator & Vibrator by Womanizer
The Duo Stimulator and Vibrator by Womanizer is the sex toy that does it all. Acting as both a clitoral stimulator and a rabbit vibrator, this toy features 12 intensity levels for the clit, 12 intensity levels for the G-spot and 10 vibration modes for complete orgasmic pleasure that you’ll need to experience to believe.
And some of our favorites for penis owners:
Bruno Prostate Massager by Lelo
Explore and enjoy rare sexual experiences in confidence. More and more men have come to appreciate the pleasurable power of the Bruno Prostate Massager by Lelo. For internal and external pleasure, join these men by adding this prostate massager to your sex toy collection.
Poseidon C-Ring by Better Love
Ready to turn it up in the bedroom? The Poseidon Vibrating Cock Ring by Better Love is easy to use and guaranteed to provide erotic pleasure for all parties involved. Whether playing solo or with a partner, this cock ring is just what you need to turn up the heat.
TR Masturbator by Myhixel
Myhixel is pioneering science and medical backed solutions for male sexual well-being. Their methods combine the anonymized Myhixel Play App with a gamified and personalized scientific program. This, along with the advanced TR Masturbator by Myhixel, will allow you to experience new waves of pleasure and achieve climax control.
5. Support LGBTQ+ individuals, businesses and organizations.
An amazing way to catalyze change and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights is to support LGBTQ+ people, businesses and organizations.
Encourage others to do the same… and not just during Pride Month, but throughout the entire year.
Now go wave your rainbow flag… Pride is in the air and it is here to stay.