June is Pride Month, an annual celebration of the LGBTQ community and our queer history. Every year since the Stonewall riots of 1969, we take to the streets to honor the activists that paved our way, adding to their legacy by joining together in community––an act of rebellion in itself. And after last year, when 2020’s festivities were canceled or relegated to Zoom as we collectively settled into stay-at-home orders amidst the pandemic, 2021’s IRL celebration of Pride is bound to be even more special than years’ past.

For queer folks, linking back up after a year in isolation means so much. The survival of our community has historically depended on us being in one another’s presence, cultivating queer visibility, and fighting for our rightful space in society. We hold one another in love, support, and acceptance as no one else can. That’s why, in a show of solidarity with the LGBTQ community, Macy’s tapped the beautiful staff of Alibi Lounge, Harlem’s first Black-owned gay bar, to model for a lookbook celebrating Macy’s and its contributions to The Trevor Project* throughout Pride Month.

As we all continue to pick up the pieces in the wake of the pandemic, lending a hand of support to marginalized communities is not only appreciated, it’s vital to the survival of our cultural spaces. Getting behind queer organizations is one of the best ways allies can uplift LGBTQ people. Because in the queer community, the centers, gay bars, circuit parties, and any other places where we’re invited to gather in full expression of ourselves, represent more than just their calling cards. Places like Alibi serve as a safe space for queer people to connect freely without judgment in a world that doesn’t always offer us that privilege. 

“An LGBTQ space, for kids, for anyone, is a safe haven. You know that when you go through the doors of Alibi, for example, you will be automatically welcomed with no questions whatsoever. You’ll feel loved,” said Alexi Minko, the owner of Alibi. “There’s something comforting for the human spirit when you feel like you belong. And that’s what LGBTQ spaces offer.”

Below, read more about Alexi Minko’s fight to keep Alibi open this past year, what the pandemic taught him about the power of community, the importance of saving our queer spaces, and how you can support The Trevor Project by shopping at Macy’s during Pride month too.

 

Alexi Minko on “Being Part of a Community”: