It’s that time of the year again! June has been the month in which the LGBTQIA+ community celebrates Pride Month, since 1970. The time is right to celebrate all that it means to be queer, while calling for equality and freedom from cis and heteronormative shackles. With the COVID-19 pandemic in the rearview mirror, it’s time to celebrate the active members of our community and to remember those who fought for their rights. Here’s everything you need to know about ‘Pride Month’.
Why is June chosen as the ‘Pride Month’?
It’s no secret that Pride parades and marches commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, a historic fight between patrons of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Manhattan that’s now a national monument, and police on June 28th, 1969. At the time, being openly gay was taboo and illegal in most places. As of this year, it is the 52nd anniversary of the first gay pride march, which was held one year after the Stonewall riots.
Why is the Pride Symbol Rainbow Coloured?
Artist and gay rights activist Gilbert Baker created the rainbow Pride flag in 1978. The six-colour flag has meanings attached to each of its colours: red represents life, orange represents healing, yellow signifies sunshine, green symbolizes nature, blue represents harmony, and purple is the spirit. Hot pink was originally part of the eight-colour flag to represent sex, and turquoise to represent magic and art. However, these colours were later removed, and since then the flag has undergone many variations. Last year, the flag was transposed with the Black Lives Matter protests, including black to represent diversity, brown to represent inclusivity, and light blue and pink, the colours of the trans pride flag.
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How can you participate and celebrate Pride Month in your own way?
Firstly, Acceptance and thoughts matter; you can simply celebrate this month by expressing love, sharing joy, and celebrating community by capturing your everyday Pride in personal ways and supporting those in the community as well.
Secondly, you can take part in Pride marches as well. It’s colourful and filled with love! Across cities with strong queer communities and a history of advocacy, parades are a much-loved tradition. You can experience a real sense of what Pride is about through these events. Taking part in Pride parades offers children a unique opportunity to experience the rich diversity of the queer community, and show that “love is love.” The celebrations offer fun learning experiences, but they’re also a great way to show solidarity with Pride’s guiding slogan.
Furthermore, you can also learn more about Pride’s history and implications to get involved and see where you can add value and make a difference! Although Pride Month is celebrated by everyone, from schoolchildren to grandparents, not everyone is aware of its history or cause as the month does not only commemorate Pride but also encourages us to show our support for our queer friends and family by showing them our love. Pride is not only an affirming celebration of all the accomplishments the community has made over the past decades, but also acknowledges the long struggle for equal rights.
Moreover, one of the best ways you can be a part of the Pride celebrations is through contributions to causes that are working towards queer rights. You can consider helping organizations that work with the issues close to you through monetary or other forms of contributions, since Pride is all about celebrating the strength, resiliency, and beauty of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Pride can be celebrated by everyone!
You don’t have to be a member of the community to celebrate pride; if you support and understand it, you’re a part of it as well. You are who you are as long as you love; love boldly and love loudly, celebrate your originality and expression with your friends and family, and be proud of who you are, regardless of the sort of relationship you have. Because Pride Month is more than a month, it is an opportunity to come together and fight for equality and justice alongside the LGBTQ+ community. It’s when you acknowledge and celebrate the tiny and significant occasions in your life, from coming out to deciding to create a family. This is the time of year to capture those one-of-a-kind, out-loud, and out-proud life experiences that make your life more colourful, significant, and amazing!