The PRIDE month of June 2020 recently concluded with much progress and celebration. The world today is seeing the LGBTQ+ community in more ways than ever before, but yet there is so much left to be understood and accepted. To bring further change the Pride season is a great time to educate oneself about the community’s past, and what it means today – historically, culturally and globally. Through this post, team StreetTrotter wishes to educate those about PRIDE who might not identify themselves as a member of the community, but still can be a part of it with acceptance and support.
Life is not all black or white, the spectrum is in-fact much broader than the 50 million shades of grey. It is a combination of every saturated, de-saturated, blinding, bold, neutral, complimentary, contrasting color ever discovered and yet the spectrum wouldn’t be enough to hold everything that life entails. Life can be confusing at times, and so can love. Love isn’t a text book recipe with measured grams of attention and involvement, it is a haphazardly beautiful accident waiting to explode and bless everyone involved. Love is never something to be ashamed of and yet some communities and people get judged and reprimanded for their definition of love.
The LGBTQA+ community is a space that encapsulates every possible combination and permutation of love ever discovered with a space to add your own definition of it too. The community is a well knit platform for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Asexual people to explore and understand their versions of love.
Apart from this there are so many more terms that fall under the LGBTQA+ umbrella like Aromantic, greyromantic, Demisexual , Pansexual, Polyamorous and many more who are confused or are questioning their sexuality. To represent everyone under one rainbow of love, there are many types of flags to represent subdivisions in the gay community. The colors of the Pride flag each have a meaning behind them:
The history and making of Pride:
Gay history wasn’t a smooth sail, with the world filled with homophobic conservatives who refused to acknowledge anyone outside the cis-gendered, heterosexual circle. The revolution demanding equal rights for the pride community started in America. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement. In June of 1969, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City staged an uprising to resist the police harassment and persecution to which LGBT Americans were commonly subjected to. This uprising marked the beginning of a movement to outlaw discriminatory laws and practices against LGBT Americans.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) is celebrated annually in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots, and works to achieve equal justice and equal opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ+) people. Today the LGBTQA+ community is a more easily accessible and widespread platform, it is a safety net to every questioning soul and an assurance to every newly out individual.
Despite a rise of a progressive society in many parts of the world, coming out is not easy for most individuals due to cultural and social reasons. And when most people are made to feel alienated and forlorn, The pride community is a safe blanket that makes them feel accepted and normal. It has become a symbol of the fight and determination of the LGBTQ+ community to assert its rights and equality globally.
“Coming out was not simply about living a more fulfilling and authentic life, it meant allying myself in the struggle faced by my peers who aren’t afforded the luxury of hiding. It was, and continues to be, an act of revolution—an act of social defiance that little by little changes the hearts and minds of those around us.” – Charlie Kolodziej.
Pride as a celebratory movement:
The tradition of the first Pride march started in New York City in 1970. Throughout the initial years the marches took place on the last Sunday of June each year, marked as Gay Pride Day or Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day. Originally the movement was strongly a political act born of a time when tolerance still hadn’t been won. Later with little wins and recognizable milestones, celebrations started spreading across the month, now known as the Pride month globally.
Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and events that attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or to HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that LGBTQ+ individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.
What does Pride mean today?
In a lot of ways, Pride is just not a celebration but stands especially important for people who aren’t out yet. For many it is an emotion. There are still many countries in the world that have not accepted the LGBTQ+ community, and the Pride movement is a symbol that there is a community to support you.
Even though Pride today celebrates the progress that is made till date, there is still a lot of work that is to be done together to make sure that all LGBT people are accepted for who they are. There are still a series of hate crimes, systematic abuse and discrimination that is reported everyday against LGBT people. Many are advocating to make Pride more inclusive by including a larger percentage of people of color in it. Encouragements are being made for parents to bring their children in Pride events because you still don’t know what your child’s sexuality will be growing up. Pride Parades are also an ideal opportunity to show that you are done hiding and you are done being scared and now you are an active participant of forces that want to bring about a change.
Researched and co-written by: Madhumitha Jain | Cover photo Artwork by: Akin Sanjayan | Edited by: Shraddha Gupta | In support and celebration of PRIDE!