Happy Pride Month!
Updated: Jun 15
This is the month to celebrate LGBT+ identity as positive and equal to all. Around the world, LGBT+ people and their allies have parades to memorialize the struggles that LGBT+ people have had in being recognized as valid, healthy human beings and being treated with dignity and human rights. To this day, there are people who believe that homosexuality and expressing transgender identity should be criminalized; many religious people think that LGBT+ folks will “go to hell” for expressing who they are and whom they want to love. The struggle therefore continues.
The first pride parade in the United States was the Christopher Street Liberation Day parade after the Stonewall riots. This was in 1970. Activists in the Northeast United States organize this to remember the Stonewall riots, which occurred at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York after a police raid sparked a civil rights movement. Of course, there were efforts to have better legal and societal rights before then, but the riot seemed to galvanize the community into more organized and united efforts to gain their rights and equality.
What can we learn from the pride celebrations? It seems that gratitude is in order, to the people who had the courage to stand up for themselves. It was unfortunate that the rights became violent, in my opinion, but sometimes that brings attention to a situation in a way that forces the status quo to change. We can be grateful that advances have been made in acknowledging and accepting LGBT people.
However, as mentioned above there is still more work to be done in gaining acceptance and equality. Like any group of marginalized people, it takes a lot of effort and courage to not only gain new rights, such as the right to marry but also to maintain them and not see them become eroded. Sometimes there’s a backlash in society when a big change has occurred, and sometimes it just gradually happens when people stop paying attention.
We must always pay attention to how we’re being treated and how we treat one another. We can do this in the language that we use when talking about LGBT people, being careful not to mis-gender nonbinary and transgender people, and eliminating bias to the extent that we can against LGBT people. We can also speak up when we see someone being bullied, mistreated, or discriminated against for being LGBT. All of us, including allies and people who are not directly affected by the LGBT community, have a responsibility collectively to make our society one that accepts everybody equally. It is not just incumbent upon LGBT people to fend for themselves. It takes everyone being mindful and having the courage and pride to speak up.
How do you plan to celebrate pride month? What does this month mean to you? How will you use pride month in your own personal development as a human being? I would love to talk to you more about it if you would like to schedule a session with me. As an ally, I strive to always support and speak up for LGBT human beings. I believe that we all must support one another no matter who we identify with or whom we love.