This article was written by guest authors, No Vacation Required.
It’s been a long, dreary 12-months since Pride 2020. And while it hasn’t stopped raining just yet, the clouds are parting and the sun is coming out.
You know what happens when the sun comes out while it’s still raining?
This brings us to Pride 2021 and our suggestions for how you can level up as a traveler and ally.
Plan a Pride getaway
With each passing day, the world is slowly emerging from this long period of isolation, social separation, and virtual everything. The sense of hope and the feeling that something close to normal is just around the corner feels great.
It has us really excited for some good old-fashioned Pride! The marches. The camaraderie. The activism. The silliness. We are here for all of it.
While June is officially Pride Month, many cities have thoughtfully scheduled several 2021 events for later in the summer and fall. And while that might mean we have to wait a little longer for the in-person stuff, it’s good news! Not only does it give everyone a little more time to get vaccinated, but it also means we have more time to coordinate and book an epic Pride getaway with our friends. Because we Pride fanatics know that Pride is better when we are together.
We also know it matters who you travel with, and booking your trip with a trusted partner, such as Expedia, gives you access to helpful travel planning tools, provides the best bang-for-your-buck, and brings you the reassurance someone has your back every step of the way.
As details are changing day by day, keep checking your city’s community hubs (such as Toronto Pride or Vancouver Pride Society) to stay up to date. Right now, Montréal Pride Festival plans to take place from August 9 to 15, with Quebec City Pride Festival following on September 2 through to September 5. But here is a list of 10 LGBTQIA+ friendly cities to help you plan for your own Pride 2021 getaway.
Okay, now that you have an in-person Pride celebration to look forward to, let’s take a second to look back and celebrate what the community accomplished in 2020. And there’s a lot to be proud of.
Last year showed a lot of people what they could do when faced with adversity. Of course, members of the LGBTQIA+ community and our allies are well aware that—when things get tough—we Get. Stuff. Done. And 2020 was remarkable for what we were all able to accomplish in the face of immense and intense pressure.
- We learned a lot. In 2020 we collected the voices of people who knew what the heck they were talking about. We took the time to hear the stories of people with lived experience and went directly to experts in the community.
- We put some muscle behind what we do. We aligned ourselves with organizations doing vital work on behalf of marginalized communities. We donated money, and, even better, we volunteered in a big way, which made us feel even more meaningfully connected to the causes we supported financially.
- We got loud. We became fierce allies in the fight for racial and trans equality. We took what we learned from the fight for marriage equality to provide more meaningful support, spoke up, and elevated the voices of oppressed people.
- We had some tough conversations. In addition to sharing messages to like-minded people on social media (it’s nice to talk to like-minded people!), we stepped up our game and had difficult and sometimes painful conversations with intolerant friends and family members.
There is so much to celebrate about last year. And it’s worth noting that we did all of the above in one of the most traumatic, uncertain, and constricting times that any of us has ever experienced. But the fight’s not over.
Take the next steps
In many ways, things have gotten better. In some ways, things have gotten worse. Which means the plan—in addition to that fabulous Pride getaway—is to celebrate that we showed up last year but keep going. Imagine what we can do when we can literally get out there and come together in a way that we couldn’t in 2020. Here are five actions you can take this month:
- Upgrade your Pride flag to the more inclusive Progress flag and fly that thing high.
- Announce your pronouns. When cisgender people share their pronouns—in person, on social media, or in an email footer—they are helping to normalize one of the most fundamental challenges trans people face every day: harmful assumptions around gender identity and expression.
- Attend a community Pride event in your own backyard. Despite some larger events still being postponed, plenty of places are holding small, community-focused Pride events in June. See what’s happening where you live, and even showing up for a virtual event in support of your local LGBTQIA+ community counts—those numbers matter.
- Continue to donate and volunteer to organizations—such as the CCLA and HRC—who are leading the way in the fight for equality.
- Take an international view. Since we’re all travelers, pick an international destination and research what living there as an LGBTQIA+ person must be like. Being an ally no matter what country you’re in is just as important as showing up for the community at home.
We are ready to get back out in the world and see those rainbows with the right travel companions supporting us every step of the way. Be sure to check out more of Expedia’s travel resources and checklists, and enjoy the Pride Month ahead. And as always, travel (and celebrate, and act) with Pride every season of the year.
Note: All travel is subject to frequently changing governmental restrictions—please check government advisories before scheduling trips.
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