Know all about pride, what it symbolizes, and how you can be an ally.
It’s been 70 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed that everyone, without any differentiation, has the right to life, liberty, and security of the person. However, hate crimes and violence against the LGBTQ+ community are still on the rise. With Pride month, the world celebrates gay rights and discusses pressing issues looming over for generations.
What is so special about this Month?
Pride is a celebration of one’s sexual orientation, the freedom to choose who one wants to be. While India generally organizes pride parades in different cities throughout the year, June holds special significance internationally.
But why particularly June? The answer takes us back to the 1960s. This was the era of struggle and commotion, not only with the police but also within one’s conscience. Amidst the peak of the cold war, police brutality and, resultantly, secret gay bars were also on the rise in America. Raids were common in these bars. But on one such day, on 28 June 1969, at dawn, cops raided the Stonewall Inn, at that time a haven for New York’s queer community. For the first time, a raid led to a riot. However, the inn opened again at dusk, with more supporters and slogans. This time the crowd was met with tear gases and were beaten up.
The LGBTQ+ community is standing on the shoulders of these men who resisted the police and demanded their rights and freedom. However, the Stonewell Inn incident was not the start and won’t end the communities’ struggle. However, the incident does symbolize an era of revolution against unjust treatment around the world.
Who is an ally?
An ally or a group of allies aren’t directly a part of the community but support the cause and actively participate in the process of their upliftment.
How can you be an Ally?
Love is not about race, gender, or sexuality. It’s all about communication, trust, safety, and a sense of belonging. People of the LGBTQ+ community are often victims of bullying and harassment. With a range of reactions through the community, some often fall into depression while in extreme scenarios some commit suicide. Here’s how to be an ally and help people in need.
1. Knowing the ABCD of LGBT
It is essential to learn where the LGBT community comes from. What is the difference between sexuality and gender? What is to be transgender or intersex? This is not only for your knowledge but also for all those debates you will have with homophobes. Even if you get it wrong somewhere, don’t worry; you just have to be willing to learn.
2. Offer financial support
Although many people face financial exclusion from their family and require money, these necessarily don’t have to be direct. You can support an LGBTQ-friendly business or invest in one. A 2016 survey by Prudential Financial finds that most respondents experienced an income gap and found it hard to make ends meet.
This is especially true for youth. According to the Ali Forney Facility, an LGBT adolescent crisis center in New York, more than 80% of its base are runaways. Some kicked out, while the remainder flees due to abuse, neglect, or a mixture of both. Many transgender people have GoFundMe pages where they are crowdsourcing the necessary money needed for their hormones or sex-change operations.
3. Show up
It would mean a lot if you took part in events. It will not only show support, but you can also broaden your horizon, and who knows, you might just make a friend or two there.
June celebrates Pride, a cry of revolution disguised in colorful flags. Pride is not about drag or camp. It’s about the expression of emotion, of love, and our freedom to choose. It’s not about them or me; it’s about us as a world. Pride comes every year in June not only to fire up a revolution in society but also one within yourself. Happy Pride!