Pride Parade

Pride Parade Is A Rite Of Passage For The LGBT+ Community

Love is love

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June is the best time to be alive for all Geminis and LGBT+, and I just so happen to be both.

To give you a little bit of history: In 1969, Stonewall riots hit Manhattan and it happened to be a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement. The last Sunday in the month of June was considered to be "Gay Pride Day." Brenda Howard is known as the "Mother of Pride," and she was the one who coordinated the first LGBT pride march. To this day, June is celebrated as the month for Pride, where the LGBT+ community lives their best lives.

So far, this June, there have been many pride parades. I had the honor of going to the Philadelphia Pride Parade on June 10th, and I am here to tell you about my experience.

I was overwhelmed with joy the whole day.

Just imagine this: You're a very poor little kid, and on your birthday every year, you get the most amazing chocolate bar you've ever had and you find a golden ticket. You travel to this big chocolate factory and after a day full of touring the facilities and many trials, you're the last one remaining. Turns out, you've just won the whole chocolate factory. You're just this poor little kid who know owns a (probably million dollar worth) company where you can eat all of the chocolate you want and now your family is suddenly rich.

That is how I felt at the pride parade, and yes, I did just describe the plot to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Everyone was dressed their best and they were their to express themselves. There were men decked out in the most flawless drag queen costumes, doing their best dance moves. Women were topless (yet still covering their nipples, because for some reason our nipples are inappropriate). I saw the most gorgeous makeup on boys and girls. The fishnets, bondage accessories, and wigs were prominent and slaying the game.

There were so many companies in the parade to show that they are our allies, and they were there to throw out cool beaded necklaces, and free company swag. There were people there to talk about the importance of safe sex among everyone, no matter the label to your relationship.

To top it off, June 10th is my birthday. The whole day I was surrounded by thousands of people enjoying themselves. If I had a dollar for the amount of people that wished me a happy birthday, I would be super rich. I even had a group of drunk girls sing to me.

I had the best birthday ever. I was surrounded by a group of people where I knew I could be myself. I wasn't scared. I wasn't being judged. I didn't need to put a label to myself. I was just being me, and so was everyone else around me.

If you are a part of the LGBT+ community, do yourself a favor, and participate in a pride parade. You will not regret it.

Cover Image Credit:

https://unsplash.com/photos/bdAcC3_OTTA

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A Solution To The Abortion Debate

We need to tackle the problem at its core.
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There are very few political issues that are as controversial as abortion. Pro-life vs. Pro-choice seem to be the smack down of the year, every year. Roe v. Wade legalized abortion years ago, but people from all sides of the political spectrum still focus on it.

I'm not going to give you a pro-choice argument. Yes, I am pro-choice, and yes I have very firm beliefs, but I don't think the argument should focus on whether or not women should have access to abortion.

The argument needs to tackle this "issue" of abortion at a much deeper level. It's not about pregnant women wanting abortions — it's about unwanted pregnancies.

There are many reasons a woman chooses to have an abortion. Maybe they can't afford a pregnancy and a child. Maybe they have health problems. Maybe they are not in a place in their lives where they can properly care for a child. Or maybe, they just don't want to have the baby.

Regardless of their reasons, the core cause of abortion is an unwanted pregnancy. Naturally, the way to end abortion is to stop unwanted pregnancies from occurring in the first place. If a woman never becomes pregnant without wanting to be pregnant, there would be no need for abortion, and the divisive debate could finally end.

How do we do this, you ask? Well, you've come to the right place.

There are two things that need to happen in order to stop unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

1. Comprehensive sexual education

27 states currently have abstinence-only education. This means students in 27 states are never taught about birth control. They never learn the realities of sex and sexual experiences because they are taught not to have sex until marriage.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with practicing abstinence until marriage — or even in marriage if that's what you decide. But the truth is, not everyone is going to be abstinent, and by teaching a curriculum that stresses abstinence, students lack a knowledge base necessary to prevent pregnancies and STDs. Some people won't know anything about sex alone, let alone about condoms, the birth control pill, the birth control patch, shot, ring, IUD, or other forms of birth control that could prevent pregnancies.

Statistically, states with abstinence-only education have a much higher rate of teenage pregnancy or STD transmission, while states with more comprehensive education have seen a drastic decrease in these cases.

People seem to think that including comprehensive sex ed in schools will encourage teenagers and young adults to have premarital sex. But lets face it: they're going to do it anyway. So lets make sure they are educations and that they practice safe-sex so no unwanted pregnancies occur.

2. Access to birth control

Education is all fine and dandy, but unless people have access to birth control, they can't really practice safe sex.

The discourse around birth control needs to be less taboo. Young women should not be embarrassed to talk to their healthcare provider about different options. Both men and women who plan to be sexually active, even if they have the smallest inkling that they will be sexually active, should have condoms so that they are never in a position to "risk it."

Birth control needs to be covered by all health insurance. Not only does it prevent pregnancies, but it also helps regulate women's menstrual cycles and treat endometriosis, along with other health problems women may have. But most importantly, it prevents unwanted pregnancies. Birth control needs to be available to every one, both men and women and genderfluid and genderqueer and everything else on the gender spectrum.


Even people who are pro-choice are not pro-abortion. Whether it is because of morals, medical reasons, or any other reason, no one wants abortions to happen.

Making abortion illegal will not stop abortions from happening. People will resort to dangerous methods to get abortions if they are outlawed, but they will not stop completely. The only way to stop abortions is to solve the core of the problem through comprehensive sex ed and access to birth control.

In order to make that happen, the discussion needs to move away from "Should abortion be legal or not?" to "Let's stop unwanted pregnancies from happening in the first place." Stopping unwanted pregnancies is the only way to stop abortions.

Cover Image Credit: The New Yorker

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Let's Get One Thing Straight: Nobody WANTS An Abortion, But Everyone Deserves The Right To Choose

You can choose not to get one. But you don't have the right to make that choice for anyone else.

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As the United States turns into "The Handmaid's Tale's" Gilead right in front of our eyes, the fight against women's reproductive rights comes to the forefront again. Rape, incest, they don't care: Abortions are bad, and so are those who seek them and perform them.

But let's all align on one thing, shall we? Nobody wants an abortion. Nobody.

And here is the amazing thing... If you don't believe in abortion, you don't have to get one! No, really. The existence of safe, legal and accessible abortions does not require you to get one! How about that? It is almost like you are able to choose based on your belief system and your personal situation.

That is the great thing about being pro-choice... You can consider yourself "pro-life"... for you. You do not have to get an abortion. You can believe that you would never even consider an abortion. All of your pregnancies can lead to a baby. You have that right.

You don't have to get an abortion. But you don't have the right to tell the 11-year-old victim of incest who is still years away from even being able to legally consent to sex that she has to carry her relative's child to term.

You don't have to get an abortion. But you don't have the right to tell a rape survivor that she has to carry the product of her trauma for 9 months.

You don't have to get an abortion. But you don't have the right to tell a woman in an abusive relationship with no familial support has to bring a baby into a world where he or she cannot be provided for.

You don't have to get an abortion. But you don't have the right to tell a woman who has no interest in being a mother that the rest of her life is no longer in her hands.

You don't have to get an abortion. But you don't have the right to tell an expectant mother who just found out her child will die once she is born that she has to endure that earth-shattering heartbreak.

Here's the thing: Some women in all of the above situations would keep their baby.

They'll comment below this post and say that their son or daughter is a light and their life and they are so glad they decided to keep their child.

Sure, I was young, but I made it work.

Yes, my child was conceived in trauma, but I didn't hold that against them.

Raising a child single with no support was so hard, but so worth it.

I never thought I wanted a child, but I can't see myself as anything but a mother.

The doctors told me that my baby wouldn't live, but now he's 18 and thriving.

And that is wonderful. It is beautiful. It takes love and strength to raise a child, let alone in any sort of adversity.

But that does not mean that the women who made the opposite decision are monsters or hate children.

It means that, based on their beliefs and their personal situations and the unique challenges that come with their own life, it was the best choice for them.

Being a child, I was not even near ready to have my own.

Carrying the child of my abuser is making it difficult for me to move past this.

I will not be able to provide this baby with the love and support that he or she deserves.

It is not fair to bring a child into the world that I do not want.

I would rather endure the heartbreak of terminating my pregnancy than the heartbreak of watching my child die in my arms.

And guess what? It takes strength to make these decisions, too. You do not live in the shoes or the head of anyone but yourself. You do not understand the complexity of this decision for anyone but yourself.

You do not get to make an extremely difficult and personal decision for anyone but yourself.

Nobody wants an abortion. Nobody has "terminating a pregnancy" on their list of life goals or milestones. In all situations, making the decision to terminate a pregnancy, for any reason, is an extremely difficult decision.

And you DO NOT have the right to tell a woman what is best for her or her life.

If you cannot fathom ever getting an abortion, great. You don't have to. Most people can't fathom it themselves, either. People do not want abortions. But having access to safe and legal abortions when the often scary and heartbreaking situation arises is crucial for all women. All women deserve to make their OWN choice.

Your choice can be no, absolutely not, there is no situation where you would get an abortion. And nobody will stop you from having that belief or not getting an abortion.

But your choice cannot be someone else's. Everyone deserves to have their own.

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