Amanda Reyes, LCSW
May 25, 2021
Pride month is a movement that celebrates sexual diversity among LGBTQ populations. The event can bring thousands of people together, filling the streets with a rainbow of colors, music, and dancing. Though more importantly, the celebration is used to bring awareness to the issues faced by the LGBTQ population, promoting equal rights and self-acceptance. These celebrations have remained ongoing for over 50 years, as the fight for inclusivity remains ongoing.
The Importance Behind the Celebration
On June 28th 1969, the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in downtown Manhattan, became the focal point of the queer revolution. Police frequently made arrests in gay bars, as homosexual acts were illegal in nearly all states. However, on this day in particular, the community decided to fight back, demanding their rights, launching a new era of revolution. The following year, the first pride event was held to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall riots. At that time however, the event was not what we see celebrated today. It was a sign of resistance, as thousands marched up 6th Avenue towards Central Park. Though today the celebration may seem like one extravagant party, the celebration is deeply rooted in activism, surrounding equal human rights. The celebration allows those who are in fear of living their truth, to uncover a community of love and acceptance, that fights for equality among the LGBTQ community. Most importantly, it encourages LGBTQ youth be themselves unapologetically, to spread acceptance, and to work towards a future free from oppression for all.
What PRIDE Means to Those Around the World
One of the most important things you can do to be an advocate for the LGBTQ community is take the time to understand what pride means. It is also a time to reflect on the meaning behind living an expansive life. Pride can serve as a reminder to consider the relationships you want to have, free of restrictions by norms, traditions, and the expectations of others. There is still much more work that needs to be done in the fight for LGBTQ rights, though I encourage you to reflect on the statements below, as these are just a few of the thoughts that come to mind from the LGBTQ community when asked about pride month.
LGBTQ people are strong and resilient.
It is okay to fear what you do not know, but it is not okay to hate it.
Fear, guilt, shame can keep others from following their desires.
Don’t get in the habit of erasing parts of yourself to make others happy.
Know who you are and being that fearlessly.
Celebrate every layer of yourself.
Live out loud with no shame.
Stand in your authenticity.
You may not fully understand LGBTQ people but if you could find it in your heart to listen, and to educate yourself.
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