Pride is a very powerful, and really, you can feel pride about really anything – you can feel pride about certain aspects of your identity – so things like your gender identity, sexuality, ethnicity. You can even feel proud about the things you can control in your life – like your religion (or lack of). On the flip side, Pride can also be dangerous – it can narrow your view, or make you seem egotistical. But I want to focus on the positive aspect of pride, as I’m proud of many aspects of myself – sure, there are parts of myself that I would like to work on, but there is no shame in being proud of being yourself.
But I don’t want to talk about pride as general thing – I want to talk about Pride as in LGBTQ+ Pride, and most importantly, why it’s still important today. Pride is incredibly important for many different reasons, but first, I want to provide some historical context. In short, pride is the postitive stance against discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, and aims to promote equal rights, celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance. Pride, as opposed to the stigma and social stigma, is the outlook that motivates most LGBT rights movements around the world – Pride is typically during LGBT Pride Month or some other period that was a significant turning point in the LGBTQ+ communities history (for example, Moscow Pride in the month of May for the anniversary of Russia’s 1993 decriminalization of homosexuality). Some Pride events include – LGBT pride parades and marches, community days, or rallies.
Like I mentioned before, pride is incredibly important, but why? Firstly, there’s still work to be done – pride events are a time to celebrate how far we have come, but we still need to push for equality globally. This is because, unfortunately, being LGBTQ+ is still illegal in many parts of the world – For example, there are STILL gay “purges” in Chechnya, and you can still be fired in many USA states for being gay or a lesbian. Basically, we still need to fight for LGBTQ+ rights and equality – even in the most progressive countries.
Which leads me to my next point – because not all of us can celebrate. With the unfortunate rise of fascism and anti-progressive governments, there is still much to fight for and remember about LGBTQ+ rights around the world. While some countries are moving forward in terms of LGBTQ+ rights, others are moving backwards. This is because many LGBTQ+ people are literally fighting for their lives, as well as equality.
Secondly, and quite simply, visibility is important – it’s important for queer LGBTQ+ people, and for those who are still questioning their gender and / or sexuality. It’s also important because it means that they are not alone in the world. To get people talking about the LGBTQ+ community certainly helps – ESPECIALLY for marginalized people in the community (e.g. disabled, or people who are HIV+).
There are SO many different parts of the LGBTQ+ community, so everyone deserves respect for their course. Full equality doesn’t equal the right to marry (though it definitely a step in the right direction). And visibility is the first step for getting support or recognition (or both!)
Thirdly, its because we’re all unique – the lgbtq+ acronym contains lots of different identities, which makes it difficult to lump us all together. Buuut, it doesn’t always work. For example, in Berlin, there are competitive Pride festivals during the same weekend – there is the mainstream one and the one that fights for more progressive politics.
Finally, its because pride exists today for many different purposes – of course, it is a chance to celebrate. And while many of the LGBTQ+ prides around the world celebrate all of our diverse identities.