Pride Month is the colourful period where the world celebrates the entire LGBT+ acronym. With communities around the world still facing prejudice and persecution for being themselves in 2022, Pride Month is a time dedicated to learning about each other and remembering those who shaped history for LGBT+ people.
After the Stonewall riots of 1969 started the modern gay liberation movement, Pride has been a signature annual celebration which has been taking place for more than fifty years all around the globe.
For many, Pride is all about community and sharing support. Here in south Wales, there is a host of independently owned LGBT+ businesses that are doing incredible things. With non-profit enterprises to local drag shows, it’s a time for us to get out and enjoy what the community has to offer. While Pride is a celebration, it can’t be forgotten that it originated as a protest. Pride is an opportunity for people around the world to get together and challenge powers that still oppress LGBT+ people to this day. In no particular order, here are a few reasons why Pride Month is still so important.
Empowerment and building confidence
Pride marches are a chance to get together, be yourself, and get involved with a demonstration with people just like yourself. A freeing experience for countless LGBT+ people who take part in events during June, it underlines how close and supportive the LGBT+ community can be. Pride demonstrations are a chance to be unafraid and assert that we are not intimidated by people who would not accept us for who we are.
Education and understanding
Although social media can be a pit of despair at the best of times, there are so many handy resources available to use just by throwing in a quick search in google. It’s counter productive to continuously question people, especially on topics such as gender identity, if the answer is easily available on our friend the internet. On the other hand, Pride Month is normally always full of great panel sessions which explore the breadth of the community. Whether it’s about the history of Pride itself or information surrounding a charity, there’s probably an event for you to get stuck into.
Remembering the people who shaped Pride Month
Marsha P Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Storme DeLaverie are just three of many iconic figures from the community’s past. The activists who were fundamental in igniting the spark that was the gay liberation movement back in the late ’60s, these three individuals get the proper chance to be celebrated and remembered for their sacrifice and grassroot efforts for better rights for LGBT+ people. Being ostracized from society and discriminated against by members of their own community, these individuals are a huge inspiration to many young activists of today.
Instilling confidence in LGBT+ youth
Although we’re far from where we need to be, Pride Month has given confidence back to the younger generation of LGBT+ people. With more and more facilities all over the UK such as; Trans Aid Cymru, The Queer Emporium and many others, more young LGBT+ have exposure to the real community. By being surrounded by people like themselves, young LGBT+ individuals feel less alone. Many children grow up not feeling accepted by their own flesh and blood, so the accepting connections made in these venues and groups is incredibly important.
Celebrate the positives
A lot of the time, the topic of LGBT+ in general can be full of negative stories, statistics and grief. While fighting for justice is so important, it’s also healthy to include some well-needed celebratory relaxation. Whether you’re keen for a weekend full of partying or a more quiet time, Pride gives us the opportunity to enjoy the here and now. For a lot of LGBT+ people, growing up was filled with stresses day to day. With many not even able to live their authentic self day-to-day, Pride is the dedicated celebration where it is completely OK to do so.