People Are Disregarding Pride For What It Truly Is

People Are Disregarding Pride For What It Truly Is

Discrimination is not a competition, it's a war we have to fight. So, let's all lay down our weapons and celebrate together!

Levi Saunders // Unsplash

In case you haven't yet heard the good news, the month of June is Pride Month! And yes, while I could sit here and raise a rallying cry against the White House for not acknowledging it, or Netflix for cancelling Sense8 on the first of the month (still bitter), these events are only the symptoms of a greater cause: people disregarding Pride for what it is.

Pride, at its very core, is a celebration of existence and the perseverance that it took to get us to where we are today. The month of June was chosen in order to commemorate the Stonewall Riots. It's hard to remember, but people died in order for some of us to be granted somewhat equal rights. It's also a chance to make ourselves visible not just in the community, but out in the world. The hope is that by doing so, being not-homosexual not-cisgender become slightly more normalized.

In more recent years, things have started to heat up around pride. There has been controversy over whether Pride is just for the LGT part of the acronym (which has started to make the switch to GSM -- gender and sexual minorities). Those who are bisexual, pansexual, asexual, have started to raise a cry insisting they should be included as well, and have been met with pushback inside and out of the community.

Additionally, we seem to forget that people of color were crucial to the Stonewall riots (specifically transgender women of color). In response to that, Philadelphia added a stripe to their pride flag -- a strip of black and brown at the very top. Racism in the community is far from over, but thanks to Philadelphia, we're taking huge steps towards progress.

"But what about straight pride? Don't we deserve to be proud of ourselves too?"

Absolutely! But maybe keep it down for the month of June. You see, Straight Pride does, in fact exist -- every other month of the year. When straight people are only 4.8% of broadcast television, then we can talk, but until then, enjoy your heteronormative society that gives you such perks as (a) not being told you're broken! (b) not actively forcing you to fix yourself! (c) not forcing you to "come out" because your sexuality is assumed from birth! and (d) not having your existence be protested!

Here's the thing: we've all experienced some pain when it comes to our sexuality. Some have absolutely experienced more or less pain, but that doesn't mean the pain isn't felt throughout the community. Discrimination is not a competition, it's a war we have to fight. So, for the month of June, let's all -- and when I say all, I mean all sexual, romantic, and gender orientations -- lay down our weapons and celebrate together! We've made it this far to be visible; let's not forget that first and foremost we are a community.

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