Pride Month takes place in June every year to celebrate the progress made in terms of social equality regarding the LGBTQ+ community. Inspired by the Stonewall uprising at Greenwich Village in New York, Pride Month is celebrated in June, and 28th June is recognised as Pride Day.
In addition to honouring activists who have pioneered LGBTQ+ rights, Pride Month is a time to acknowledge and address the injustices faced by the community. In other words, Pride Month is a time to celebrate the achievements attained as well as to reflect on what we have yet to achieve.
The Origin of Pride Month
While many events and processes have led to homosexuality and gender non-conformity being accepted legally, the 1969 Stonewall uprising has been adopted as the symbol of progress made in LGBTQ+ rights. This is because it inspired more people to speak up and protest, which eventually led to the decriminalisation of homosexuality and gender non-conformity.
The Stonewall riots began on 28th June 1969 at the Stonewall Inn as a response to police violence against the gay community. Tired of constant police raids and maltreatment of the community, the LGBTQ+ community – led by the black transgender activist and drag queen Marsha P. Johnson – fought back. In doing so, they inspired others to protest to fight homophobia. This also paved the way for the first gay march in New York and inspired increased LGBTQ+ activism, significantly influencing LGBTQ+ rights.
Why is Pride important?
Pride Month is important because it is a time to acknowledge the struggles individuals in the community encounter and learn about their experiences. By becoming consciously aware of the injustices the LGBTQ+ community encounters, we can address them more purposefully and strive for increased equality in society.
In addition, Pride is important because inclusivity matters and representation is empowering. Love and acceptance – including self-love and self-acceptance – is crucial for confidence and good mental health, and Pride promotes this.
What can you do?
While sex is biological, gender is a social concept.
Address people how they wish to be addressed.
Speak up against homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of disrespect and prejudice targeted at the LGBTQ+ community.
People from other minority groups who are also a part of the LGBTQ+ community have different lived experiences to those who are not. There is no equality unless there is equality for all.
Do not ask questions that might make people uncomfortable or feel unsafe.
Make an effort to educate yourself and others around you where appropriate. There is always more for us to learn.
Thank you for reading!