June is an important month for everyone who is a part of the diverse LGBT community. ‘Pride month’ is celebrated across the globe throughout the month of June. As a way to commemorate the hardships faced by members of this LGBT+ community in attaining equal rights. That was extended to cis-gendered heterosexuals and not to them. However, in some regions, they have no or negligible rights.
Pride parade date back to over 50 years in the USA. The parades are an outcome of the ‘Stonewall riots’ that took place in New York at a gay bar called the Stonewall Inn. Back in the 20th century, homosexuality was illegal and the police would regularly raid gay bars and harass the patrons. LGBT Community was not accepted or recognised by societies across the world; to date, in some regions, it still is not.
During the early hours of June 28, 1969, the police raided the Stonewall Inn. And in a never seen before joint effort, the patrons along with the people of the neighbourhood protested against the injustice.
The protest set the wheel in motion for political activism. And staunch demands for LGBT Community or Gay rights which in turn, gave a platform to organizations like the ‘Gay Liberation Front’, ‘Human Rights Campaign’, ‘GLAAD’ and much more alike that have positively impacted the community in the USA.
The first Pride Parade was celebrated a year after the riots. And the official chant was “Say it loud, gay is proud.”
Unfettered by the Covid-19 pandemic, the pride parades have turned virtual and are being held live on multiple online platforms. If you think June is almost over, there are still a hand-full of parades that you can be a part of to express your solidarity. Including Global Pride, NYC Pride March, HBO’s Pride event Human By Orientation, and many more.
Amidst Coronavirus and the Pride Month. A lot of big brands have partnered up with internationally recognized Gay welfare organizations or LGBTQ Community welfare Organisations, some on the fore-front, and others on the back end. Amongst these big companies are Adidas, Nike, Apple, MAC Cosmetics, Disney, just to name a few of many who have created a special line of merchandise to raise awareness. Donate funds to the LGBT community and show unanimity.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Gay Pride Movement. The world around us is increasingly becoming accepting and aware. Maybe not to the desired effect but it’s a slow journey. Almost two years ago, India decriminalized homosexuality which was a small step in a big direction. There’s a dire need for sensitization, changing perceptions, acceptance, busting myths, and taboos to be more welcoming of the LGBT+ community. One of the biggest problems people belonging to the LGBT+ community face is alienation and being reduced to a label. It’s time we do our bit to accept them for who they are and who they love. Naaz Foundation, Orinam, Gay Bombay, are some organizations that have been working tirelessly to make India a more liberal, sympathetic, and safer place. You can read more about them on their websites and do your bit!