Pride Month – why is it essential?

It’s Pride month, this is because in 1969 this was the month of the Stonewall riots. So historically June is LGBT pride month. All around the world the summer time is the time when LGBTQ people take to the streets and celebrate Pride in their sexuality/gender, their rights and to show the world that we are all equal and deserve to be treated equally.

Unfortunately people still find this offensive, I remember being at Dublin Pride a few years ago and a guy stood on the side of street while the parade went by and shouted out ‘Ya Dirty Shower of C***s’ at everyone that went by. You’ll never change everyone’s opinions but Pride is still important because there is still so much to do in terms of equality. Contrary to some small minds and beliefs it’s not just about a load of gay/queer people shoving their sexuality or ‘Life-styles’ in their faces… It’s much much more. Look at the developments since 2014, a referendum allowing same sex marriage in a country where being Gay was illegal in 1993. Just very recently Ireland’s 1st Gay Taoiseach (Prime Minster) was elected… This is why Pride is so vital. Change.

For each LGBTQI person Pride festivals and parades mean something different, for me apart from loving a good party and live music, I want to meet lots of people who are like me. If you’ve never been to pride before (even if your straight) it’s a great party. No matter what the weather people are generally happy, chatty, supportive and just relaxed in a positive atmosphere. I love that everyone is free to express themselves in their own way and dress as they please. Adults, kids, families, couples, teenagers, single people looking for a snog… they are all there just having a great time and relaxed because we can be ourselves.

It’s important to remember that still today in 72-74 countries around the world it is illegal to be in an LGBTQ relationship or be involved in any act that is considered to be associated with LGBTQ. Of these there are 13-14 countries where anti-homosexuality laws are in place and are punishable by death. We have recently seen the comments from the Russian president making it clear that homosexuality in Russia is forbidden, unnatural and commanding an anti-gay crackdown. This would make 75 countries. Homophobic crime and violence is rife in these places, LGBTQ people cannot be themselves for fear of imprisonment, violence or even worst, death. The harrowing and very sad documentary on Unreported World about the struggles of the Jamaican LGBTQ population ‘Underground Gays’ was proof of this. We are reminded every day that in the UK we are lucky to be able to hold these events. The cruelty and inhuman events taking place in Chechnya is a scary reminder that it is most definitely important for us to celebrate Pride, to make these issues ‘news’, to put them on the forefront of peoples minds so political powers will take action. Even within our own community there is discrimination – check out #Queerbritian that’s on BBC3 at the moment for some insight into the LGBTQ community’s own internal issues.

These are the very reasons why we celebrate Pride, WE CAN AND WE WILL CELEBRATE IT. It is a reminded to the rest of the  world that being who you are is important and being able to do that every day is a basic human right. We celebrate our freedom everyday and should be thankful that we can, without fear for our lives, live openly. #Lovehappenshere . There are still things to be done here but this years Pride month is a time to celebrate the moves forward that have already been done. Small steps soon make up huge ground. So whether you are straight, gay, bi, intersex, queer, trans, lesbian or not even sure make sure you get out to a Pride this month!

By The Outing #HappyOut