To commemorate the Stonewall Riots, which occurred during the end of June 1969, June became known as Pride Month. For the past six years, President Obama has declared June as “Pride Month” in the US. In the past 45 years, Pride has become an institution of celebration for the homosexual, bisexual, queer, and transgendered community.
The celebrations center around a parade, one to showcase the many different subsets of homosexuals, bisexuals, queers, and transgendered people. It is meant to be a figurative “fuck you” to those who wish the LGBTQ community would simply disappear or remain quiet.
By being vocal and extrovert, we show society that we aren’t some special alien species that appears out of nowhere. Instead, we are the brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends of heterosexuals. We show we are human and we deserve to be treated as such.
For many people, the intensity of Pride Celebration can be off-putting. Some agree that Pride has become too commercial and has lost it’s meaning. Others believe Pride continues to separate us from society.
I believe Pride is necessary until all homosexual/bisexual/transgendered/queer peoples are treated equally in the world. The year is 2014, and we celebrated the Olympics in a country that outlaws homosexuality.
Ignorance runs rampant in many countries that believe there is a so-called ‘gay agenda.’ My only agenda is to wake up every morning, shower, clean house, work, and someday start a family in my home country. People believe we are trying to seduce children and ‘program’ them to be gay.
There continues to be a religious movement that prefers to torture openly gay people in hopes of ‘turning them straight’ than simply accept they are different. The Westboro Baptist Church protests at funerals of soldiers because they believe the government, for which the soldier protects, is being ruled over by this ‘gay agenda.’ The Church of Latter Day Saints used donor money from their followers to put an anti-gay initiative on the California ballot in 2008 known as Proposition 8, denying homosexuals the right to marry.
I understand the arguments of over-commercialism and the way Pride has moved away from its political roots. After all, it was considered a march until it became a parade. But should we do away with it because some are uncomfortable with the image it portrays of gays?
Here’s how I see it:
I believe gay pride is a lot like voting. If you’re not willing to go out and march, then you don’t have a right to fuss about not being ‘recognized.’ It isn’t our job to provide your side of the story. All we can do is show ours.
In the end, I think all gays should be proud of who they are, not because they’re gay, but because they’re human. We deserve to be treated equally and not bashed for being different.
Some people want to show their pride by being half-naked, roaming down the street. Others want to show their pride by holding their boyfriend’s hand at a restaurant. However you do it, do it knowing you deserve to be treated as a human being and that’s all the matters.