June has long been the Pride month celebrated in many cities around the world. It is a month where people are affirmed in their sexuality and gender. Many pride events and marches are held to celebrate Pride. Why is the month of June chosen? It stems from the infamous Stonewall riots late in June 1969 which was a pivotal milestone in LGBTIQ history and the civil rights movement. For many years the American President has declared June to be Gay & Lesbian Pride Month and more recently Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.
The LGBTIQ community is divided when it comes to celebrations during pride month. Specifically colourful festivals and parades with lots of flesh and a sea of people embracing love and gender. A good percentage of the community see no need for the celebration and the same stands for a percentage of the straight community.
I believe there is always a place for Pride Rally’s and Marches. It gives us the chance to commemorate and celebrate those who have gone before us and paved the way for us to have the freedoms we now have in some countires. Some of us are privileged to march down the street on Pride day along side some pivotal groups including; Police services, Emergency Services, Various Health Organisations and Dykes on Bikes just to name a few. These groups have varied in their support of the LGBTIQ community over the years from police arresting people for being at a venue through to the Dykes on Bikes acting as a protective force around clubs where LGBTIQ people met.
Whether you embrace the idea of Pride Month or prefer to let it quietly slide past, the choice is yours. I would ask though before you dismiss the idea totally that you consider what Pride means to so many. To the youth it shows them that there is a place they are accepted without question. To the parents they are surrounded by families similar to theirs. To the past fighters for civil rights they can see how far they have come and for the current civil rights fighters they can engage with likeminded people. To those of us who just relish that one day where we are part of the crowd and see likeness around us – this is what Pride is all about. I ask you to see past the glitter and glamour if that is not for you and consider what has come before us and how we have made it because ultimately that is what Pride is all about.