Ever since I came out back in the nineties, I have been passionate about celebrating Pride Month. But as I sit here in anticipation of Pride Month 2020, things feel a bit different. The past few months have been a whirlwind as people and businesses have struggled for their very survival and yet still managed to show up for each other and lead with a resilience and resolve that are nothing short of inspiring.

Intentionalist is a glass half-full kind of company that believes in elevating and celebrating the people whose businesses are at the heart of the places where we live, work, and play. We believe that small businesses matter, and that when we start with what we have in common, the connections we make weave the social fabric of our communities. We also believe that Black Lives Matter.

As I aim to reconcile heavy heartedness, anger, and hope, where Pride Month 2020 is concerned, I’d like to share two things:

1. Pride Month was born out of an uprising.

Pride Month began as Christopher Street Liberation Day, and was held in commemoration of the riots and protests that followed a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York City in June of 1969. The modern LGBTQ rights movement owes a debt of gratitude to people like Marsha P. Johnson, a Black, transgender activist.

I share this because I believe that it offers hope that we can both protest and celebrate at the same time.

At the same time, I want to state clearly that I believe that the struggle of the Black community in America is different from that of the LGBTQ community in America, even while the fight for civil rights is intersectional.

Throughout the month of June, Intentionalist will continue to amplify our community’s call to action to support of Black-owned small businesses. At the same time, we will elevate and celebrate the LGBTQ-owned businesses owned by people of all races, genders, and ethnicities.

2. Pride Month is not cancelled.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on people throughout the world, including members of the LGBTQ community who own brick + mortar small businesses.

Here are a few suggestions for how you can support LGBTQ-owned small businesses as part of your Pride Month celebration!

  • Check out Intentionalist’s Pride Month Page
  • Check in with and shout-out your favorite LGBTQ-owned businesses via social media – be sure to tag @intentionalist_ so that we can help your post
  • Pick up takeout from a LGBTQ-owned bar, restaurant, cafe, bakery, coffee shop, or brewery
  • #SpendLikeItMatters at your favorite LGBTQ-owned business – if you’re looking for inspiration, explore all of the LGBTQ-owned businesses on our site
  • Purchase a gift certificate from a LGBTQ-owned business from Intentionalist’s Gift Certificate Marketplace
  • Participate in virtual Pride Month events, including our Pride Month Instagram Live series with LGBTQ business owners (stay tuned for more information soon)

At the end of the day, Pride Month is an opportunity to celebrate people in our communities and engender a sense of belonging. And while it lands at a difficult moment in 2020, I look forward to witnessing the ways that we will show up for and support LGBTQ business owners throughout June and beyond.

Thanks for all that you do to #SpendLikeItMatters! Discover awesome brick + mortar small businesses in your community, suggest your favorites, and be sure that you’re following us on social media (InstagramFacebook, Twitter).

Intentionalist is your local guide to small businesses and the diverse people behind them. We believe that where you spend your money matters, and we’re sure glad you do too! Whether you identify as a localist, activist, or just a good neighbor, we make it easy for you to connect with, learn about, and support small businesses in your community through everyday decisions about where you eat, drink, and shop.

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