As most people know, June is known as Pride Month. Every year, this one in particular, I have noticed an increase of people all over social media asking, "If the gays get their own month to celebrate their pride, where is Straight Pride Month?"
These same people also seem to refuse to acknowledge the meaning behind the celebration due to ignorance or lack of information. So, with that being said, let me drop some knowledge for you to understand why we celebrate our pride all month.
On June 9, 2019, the city of Philadelphia held its 31st Annual Pride Parade. Its theme was Stonewall 50, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City. The riots started when NYPD raided the Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969, and used force to pull out patrons of the gay bar, which had been a place of refuge for the LGBTQ+ community.
During the '60s, solicitation of same-sex relations was illegal, and in New York City, there was a criminal statute that allowed police to arrest people who were wearing less than three gender-appropriate articles of clothing. People of the LGBTQ+ community sought out gay bars as a refuge, knowing that they were safe in those four walls to be whoever they wanted to be, dress how they wanted to dress, and most importantly, love who they want to love.
The riots lasted for roughly five days in front of the Stonewall Inn. The Stonewall Riots were not the starting point of the LGBTQ+ Right movement, but it is what kickstarted the fight towards equality.
Now, 50 years later, people who identify anywhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum can freely love whomever they wish in the United States. Thanks to a ruling in 2015, gay marriage is now legal in all states and is protected by the Constitution.
I can't sit here and say that I have always known about the Stonewall Riots and the history that the LGBTQ+ community has. In fact, I didn't know anything about it until after I came out to my friends and family. It was only after I had accepted that I was gay that I took the time to do some research about what my fellow people have gone through.
Today, the people of the LGBTQ+ community and allies alike take to the streets in cities across the country to show their love and support by decorating floats, dressing up, and proudly waving various pride flags. Different companies and organizations participate in these parades to let people know that they stand with them.
So, unless you've been threatened by the general population for who you love, been harassed by authorities for how you identify or been told that because you don't fit the norms of what men and women "should" be, you are no longer welcome to fight and protect this country, then no. You don't get to ask where the straight pride is.
This is not the month of shoving our sexuality in your face. It is the month that shines light on where we came from, where we are going, and why we will never stop fighting for the same equalities as the straight men and women in the world.
If there is only one thing you take away, let it be this: Remember that the first pride was a riot.