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The LGBTQ Pride Month

GAY PRIDE

It is a feeling of confidence, self-respect, and solidarity as expressed by gay people, associated with openness about one’s own sexual identity, and the celebration of gay culture and history. Gay pride or LGBT pride (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) according to Wikipedia is the positive posture against discrimination and violence towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to promote their self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increase their visibility as a social group, build community, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance.

pride

THE PRIDE MONTH & ITS ORIGINS

A black and white photograph showing the backs of three uniformed police officers and a man with short-cropped hair in a suit pushing back a crowd of young men with longer hair dressed in jeans and contemporary clothing for the late 1960s, arguing and defying the police; other people in the background on a stoop are watching

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. It was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. Ranging from solemn to carnivalesque, pride events are typically held during LGBT Pride Month or some other period that commemorates a turning point in a country’s LGBT history, for example, Moscow Pride in May for the anniversary of Russia’s 1993 decriminalization of homosexuality. Some pride events include LGBT pride parades and marches, rallies, commemorations, community days, dance parties, and festivals.

Bisexual activist Brenda Howard is known as the “Mother of Pride”, for her work in coordinating the first LGBT Pride march, and she also originated the idea for a week-long series of events around Pride Day which became the start of the annual LGBT Pride celebrations that are now held around the world every June.

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ORIGIN OF RAINBOW FLAG

The colors reflect the diversity of the LGBT community, as the flag is often used as a symbol of gay pride during LGBT rights marches. While the use of the flag originated in Northern California’s San Francisco Bay Area, the flag is now used worldwide.

STONEWALL INN RIOTS

The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community against a police raid that began in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. The feeling of urgency spread throughout Greenwich Village, even to people who had not witnessed the riots. Many who were moved by the rebellion attended organizational meetings, sensing an opportunity to take action. 

Within six months of the Stonewall riots, activists started a citywide newspaper called Gay; they considered it necessary because the most liberal publication in the city—The Village Voice—refused to print the word “gay” in advertisements seeking new members and volunteers. Two other newspapers were initiated within a six-week period: Come Out! and Gay Power; the readership of these three periodicals quickly climbed to between 20,000 and 25,000.

LGBTQ PRIDE MONTH 2019

We may never know who threw the first brick outside the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village in the wee hours of June 28, 1969, but the patrons of that private club, who clashed with police during a raid for selling liquor without a permit, helped catalyze the modern movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex and asexual rights (LGBTQIA) in the United States and beyond.

Lisa Vanderpump

Fifty years later, cities across the globe are gearing up for Pride events to celebrate civil rights, push for greater equality and party with friends. Always a major Pride destination, the Big Apple will become an even bigger global draw this year as the site of the first US-based WorldPride with 50+ events over a span of 30 days, from June 1 to June 30, 2019, dubbed Stonewall50.

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On the last weekend of October, 80,000 people are expected to converge on Kaidagelan Boulevard in Taipei, dubbed “the San Francisco of the East,” to participate in the largest annual Pride event in Asia.

Amsterdam Gay Pride hosts the Canal Parade, an annual parade on boats throughout the canal.

The Czech Republic is known not only for its beautiful castles and medieval buildings but also, increasingly, as the most gay-friendly among nations in Central and Eastern Europe. Since its beginnings in 2011, when 25,000 attended, the Pride celebration in the republic’s capital city of Prague has grown each year.

PRIDE MONTH IN INDIA

With some classic approaches and some unique, offbeat ideas, India extends support and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community since the decriminalization of Section 377.

September 6, 2018, marked an iconic day for the nation, as the Supreme Court abolished Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, decriminalizing the LGBTQ+ community, leaving most people elated across the country. The court ruling was crucial for not just the fundamental rights of individuals but for a more inclusive, harmonious society. This June, India celebrates International Pride Month for the first time.

People on the Streets of Pune Celebrating Pride Month

Pune celebrated its ninth pride parade on June 2, 2019, as nearly 600 people marched across town with signs, rejoicing the festivities. The parade began at the Sambhaji Park and grazed through JM Road. The entrance of the US embassy at the Delhi is lit up with rainbow colored lighting to celebrate Pride, while the Chennai counterpart has defied the denial completely with a massive rainbow color flag hoisted above the country emblem.

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CRITICISM

From both outside and inside the LGBT community, there is criticism and protest against pride events.

In August 2011, Sao Paulo city alderman Carlos Apolinário of the right-wing Democrats Party sponsored a bill to organize “Heterosexual Pride Day” on the third Sunday of December. Apolinário stated that the intent of the parade was a “struggle against excesses and privileges”. 

In 2015 police dispersed the LGBT Pride Parade using tear gas and rubber bullets. In 2016 and 2017, Istanbul Governor’s Office didn’t allow the LGBT Pride Parade, citing security concerns and public order.

LGBT community-building as a counterbalance to heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, sexualism, and conformist pressures that exist in the larger society. The term gay pride is used to express the LGBT community’s identity and collective strength.

Raghav Khullar
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Student | Melophile | Writer | Programmer | History Fanatic
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