Happy Pride Month! June is here and as most of you know, June is a very symbolic month for the LGBT+ community as this is when we all come together to celebrate Pride Month.
What is Pride? When and Why did it start?
The LGBT+ Pride Month commemorates the riots that took place at the Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969. This event is commonly recognized as the origin of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement.
It all began when NYC police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village in New York City. The raid sparked a riot among patrons and residents in the neighbourhood as police roughly hauled employees and patrons out of the establishment. This event lead to six days of protests and violent clashes with law enforcement outside the bar on Christopher Street, in surrounding streets and in nearby Christopher Park. The Stonewall Riots served as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.
Some might think that in 2023, Pride Month should not be celebrated any longer. Either because we “should not parade our sexuality in the streets” or cause they believe that we have more than enough rights already.
Why is Pride Month still needed?
There are many reasons why Pride Month is still needed, and as a gay man, I will tell you why this is so important for me and for my community.
Anti-LGBT+ Laws, Persecution, Discrimination and more:
- People who identify as part of the LGBT+ community still face discrimination. For some, this occurs more frequently than for others.
- As a gay man, I feel the need to research each time I decide to travel to check whether or not such country is safe.
- Many individuals who are in a same-sex relationship still feel unsafe holding hands in public.
- In some countries, you will get persecuted and killed for being gay.
- In 2023, we’ve seen numerous discriminatory and anti-LGBT+ laws being introduced across the world – such as the new Anti-LGBTQ+ law in Uganda.
- Human Rights Campaign declared “state of emergency” for LGBT+ Americans ; whilst working on more than 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills across more than 40 states.
- In 2021, Arkansas governor signed a bill allowing medical workers to refuse treatment to LGBT+ people.
Visibility and Awareness
Aside from the above, Pride Month provides a lot of visibility and helps to shine a light and raise awareness of what we experience as part of the LGBT+ community. Besides that, it encourages support and acceptance. Sadly, you will find individuals within the community who are transphobic or racist.
We are here, we exist. Visibility is very important for everyone especially for so many young and/or closeted people. Pride Month can provide some clarity in the midst of doubts and confusion experienced by those still discovering their sexuality. Seeing someone living out their life being their unapologetic true self is admirable in itself.
It’s a time when the community as well as allies all come together; this will make some bitter whilst it can also push others to be more acceptant towards diversity.
Be vocal, supportive and inclusive
Remember that it’s important to remain vocal in the face of injustice and discrimination. Whether you’re part of the LGBT+ or an ally, be there for one another, be inclusive and keep an open mind.
Being supportive doesn’t always mean donating money. Being supportive is showing up when it matters and fighting for the rights of others. Support comes in different ways and forms. Be willing, brave and a voice for the silenced.
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Happy Pride Month to all! 🏳️🌈