Pull your best rainbow garb out of the closet, lads! June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month, and we here at LFB couldn’t be more excited.
So what’s it all about? Pride celebrations take place across the world to promote equality, visibility and acceptance for LGBTQ+ people from all backgrounds, and to take a united and positive stand against homophobia and transphobia. It’s celebrated throughout the month of June in honour of the historic 1969 Stonewall riots in NYC – a hugely important milestone in the fight for LGBTQ+ liberation, leading to the establishment of gay rights organisations and Pride marches across the world.
Pride month started off small. For the first few years following the riots, the last Sunday of June was designated as Gay Pride Day in America. However, Pride soon exploded in cities across the U.S, and within a decade Pride events were spanning the entire month. These days, Pride is celebrated in hundreds of cities on every continent. Places as diverse as London, Milan, Puerto Rico, Seoul, Tel Aviv, Ontario, and Sydney are all united by their plethora of Pride events, ranging from small-scale picnics in the park to professionally organised street parties. Here in Berlin, the incredible St Christopher’s’ Day parade is one of the most famous and flamboyant LGBTQ+ celebrations in Europe.
Pride month is, at its core, a chance for the LGBTQ+ population to express themselves freely and positively assert their human rights. But this doesn’t mean that straight, cis folk should just sit back and ignore the festivities. This year, no matter our identity and orientation, it’s more important than ever to take the time to express support and solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community, who still face harassment and persecution. Sadly, the tidal wave of populist rhetoric and extremist opinion that has washed over the past couple of years shows no sign of receding anytime soon, which leaves the hard-won gains of marginalised groups across the world in peril. On Monday, Donald Trump refused to acknowledge June as Pride Month – a snub that says volumes about his values and priorities, and those of the politicians and voters who share his ideals.
We need to kick back against close-mindedness. We cannot afford to go backwards. Whatever your identity, whoever you choose to lust after or love and whoever your heart and gut tells you to be, celebrate and shout about Pride with pride. Let’s continue to push things forward.
Stay tuned to LFB’s Daily Dose for plenty of Pride-related content!